Approximately 1.25 million people die each year in unfortunate road accidents, so any innovation that can make our roads safer will be welcomed with open arms. In many cases, vehicles hit the guardrails on the side of the road, and since these rails are usually made out of concrete or steel bars, the impact takes an ugly toll. Softer guardrails can absorb the impact and help in limiting the damage. The severity of an accident also depends on the speed and the size of the vehicle.
Here comes, rolling guardrails, a Korean innovation that may help save precious lives. The Korean company, ETI (Evolution in Traffic Innovation) have designed a “Rolling Barrier System” while keeping in view the factors mentioned above. Their rotating barrels not only absorb impact energy, but their unique rolling design converts the impact force into rotational energy, which ushers the vehicle forward rather than crashing into the barrier.
The barrels are made of a special material called EVA, which has a higher degree of elasticity and flexibility when compared to polyethylene resins. This rubber-like material is lighter and more elastic than urethane and has a large capacity to absorb shock using its three-dimensional buffering frames supported by dense props. Reflective sheets are also attached to the barrels which provide better visibility.
Upon impact of a car on the guardrail, the shock is converted into rotational energy. The uniquely designed upper and lower frames of the barrel adjust themselves to the level of tires of the vehicle to minimize functional loss of the steering system. The rolling barriers push the vehicle in the same direction they were going, meaning the driver has a longer time to react while reducing the chances of rear-end collisions. The 3D structure of the D-shaped frame and buffering bracket also help in distributing the load and absorbing the second shock.
The system also has a low maintenance cost thanks to its props which are placed after every 0.7 meters. This placement allows the bearing power to prevent vehicles from derailing. Although the independent props will be destroyed in case of an accident, yet, only the damaged parts need to be replaced.
The ETI’s Rolling barrier system can be used on median strips, and roadsides, along with being used as traffic cones.
Watch the video below to learn more about the working of these safety rollers!