The Introduction of Crash Barriers
Crash barriers first rose to prominence after their introduction to the sport of Formula 1 as part of the Grand Prix Drivers Association’s ongoing safety campaign of the late ’60s and ’70s. Installed across numerous F1 circuits, the investment in Armco barriers quickly paid off, saving the lives of both race drivers and spectators.
Originally invented by the Sheffield Steel Corporation of Kansas USA in 1933, the design of the crash barrier has largely remained the same to date. The one major change being the transition from the originally painted crash barriers to the modern day galvanisation, protecting against rust and corrosion, typically extending life expectancy of the barrier by several years.
After their success in F1, the barriers where later added to motorways across the UK. Used on roadsides and central reservations, the barriers were erected to contain accidents and reduce the risk of cars colliding with oncoming traffic on the other side of the carriageway.
Quick to manufacture and easy to install, crash barriers have been successfully implemented on motorways and roadsides up and down the UK. Also extensively installed across the rest of Europe and parts of America. The invention of safety barriers and their comprehensive use has undoubtedly resulted in the prevention of countless fatalities. Barriers not only protect drivers and passenger, but pedestrians as well.
Since their introduction to UK and European roadsides, crash barriers have also been put to good use across a wide range of industries including agriculture and construction. There strength and durability has meant they are very effective for protecting buildings, livestock, and expensive machinery.