Guardrail and Barriers

Guardrail and Barriers

Guardrail

Roadway departure (RwD) crashes account for more than 50% of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities. There are a number of reasons a driver may leave the travel lane (e.g., an avoidance maneuver, inattention or fatigue or traveling too fast for weather or geometric conditions). Over the past few decades, different engineering countermeasures have been proposed, implemented and tested by various state and local agencies to mitigate RwD crashes. Improving median or roadside barrier design is one of the most effective countermeasures available to reduce RwD fatal crashes.


These devices suffered damage to their reputation as life savers because of some isolated unfortunate incidents, however the safety benefits beyond any doubt have been proven by numerous research studies. At this juncture, the life-saving qualities of roadside guardrails and median barriers need to be underscored.


ATSSA has a committee dedicated to the advancement of guardrails. The Association’s Guardrail Committee (member login required) works to preserve funding through the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), a federal program which dedicates funds to infrastructure safety, promote a fully funded Highway Trust Fund (HTF) and other funding opportunities, work with ATSSA chapters and members to develop and deliver government relations services at the state level, encourage members to utilize these services and educate the administration on roadway safety infrastructure.


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Erica Terrini
/ Categories: Guardrail and Barriers

ATSSA Guardrail Committee

The performance of barriers and guardrail has been under intense media scrutiny in recent months, after fatal crashes involving guardrail have taken place in the United States. Two ATSSA member companies have experienced negative media coverage on this issue alone and it does not seem that coverage of this type will go away anytime soon. In fact, given the tendency of the media to focus on the negative, ATSSA may soon find another member company the object of this type of scrutiny if a fatal crash would occur involving their product.
To combat the negative press specific to guardrail, ATSSA has committed to promoting the positive and life-saving benefits of guardrail use on our roadways. ATSSA completed a case study, “Safety Benefits of Median Barrier and Roadside Guardrail”, which looks at guardrail “success stories” and the different types of median barriers and guardrail found on roadways. In February, ATSSA sent out a media packet including a media brief sheet, the case study in full, and a letter from Roger Wentz to related media contacts. Additionally, a personalized message and accompanying case study was sent to the transportation journalists at the top 30 U.S. news publications. Neither of these attempts proved fruitful in terms of positive media coverage.
ATSSA has a committee dedicated to the advancement of guardrails. The association’s Guardrail Committee works to preserve funding through the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), a federal program which dedicates funds to infrastructure safety, promote a fully funded Highway Trust Fund (HTF) and other funding opportunities, work with ATSSA chapters and members to develop and deliver government relations services at the state level and encourage members to utilize these services, and educate the administration on roadway safety infrastructure.
Additionally, ATSSA will be our industry’s primary resource for roadway infrastructure safety knowledge exchange, foster knowledge exchange at all ATSSA venues (e.g. chapters, Midyear, Convention), develop and deliver new training programs that meet the needs of the membership, increase the number of members or companies participating in ATSSA programs and events, investigate the development of an accreditation program for member companies, ATSSA will be the recognized voice and authority on roadway safety.

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