Highway Guardrails: Best Practices for Installation & Maintenance

Guardrails are crucial to ensuring the safety of vehicles that have somehow drifted off the roads. Highway guardrails play an important role in preventing severe accidents and minimizing the risks of potential injuries and fatalities. Proper installation, regular maintenance, and upkeep of highway guardrails are necessary to prevent hazardous accidents and maintain the safety of pedestrians and motorists. In this blog, we are going to discuss the best practices to install guardrails and maintain them, so that they can deliver the utmost road safety.

Factors to consider when installing guardrails

  1. Site assessment

Before installing road guardrails, a comprehensive site assessment needs to be conducted to identify high-risk areas. This helps in identifying the right placement and type of guardrail to be used. Other factors to keep in mind are traffic volume, terrain, speed limits, and proximity to other structures.

  1. Compliance with standards

Installation of guardrails should comply with safety standards and protocols set up by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Standard Industry Research Institute of Malaysia (SIRIM). Highway guardrail manufacturers in Malaysia are reputed to produce top-quality guardrails that strictly adhere to these standards.

  1. Proper anchoring

Proper anchoring of guardrails is vital to ensuring that they withstand the impact caused by oncoming vehicles. Depending on the soil conditions and installation requirements, concrete foundations or driven posts can be used. Proper spacing between the posts is necessary to maximize the utility and integrity of guardrail systems.

  1. Height and offset:

Guardrails should be installed at the proper height to prevent vehicles from falling over or under them. The height and offset of the guardrail should conform to the guidelines stated by regulatory authorities, such as median width, embankments, and surrounding dangers.

Why Road Maintenance?

Regular and timely maintenance of roads and highways is necessary to ensure their optimal condition. Because there is a direct link between road conditions and vehicle operating costs (VOC), proper road maintenance contributes to reliable transportation at a lower cost. Road maintenance is essential to keep the road in its original condition, protect adjacent resources and users, and provide convenient travel.

Road maintenance can be carried out in three phases:

  1. Routine maintenance

Routine maintenance of roads includes the repair of potholes, grass cutting, drainage inspection, bridges and culverts, and maintenance of road shoulders.

  1. Periodic maintenance

Repair, replacement, and installation of existing pavement, roadside furniture, drains, culverts, and guardrails, as well as slope repairs, are all part of routine maintenance.

  1. Emergency maintenance

Emergency maintenance involves traffic management and clearing works in cases of slope failures and fallen trees. It also includes traffic management when there is flooding or bridge or culvert failure.
How can guardrails be maintained?

To just install guardrails along highways is not enough to protect motorists from road hazards. Regular inspection and maintenance of these guardrails are required to ensure they are in optimal condition and provide the necessary protection to travelers.

Highway guardrails can be maintained in the following ways:

  1. Routine inspections

Routine inspections are highly important to check the highway guardrails for damage and repair. It includes inspecting the guardrail for any bents, loose connections, rust, and wear and tear. This inspection should be carried out by trained personnel who possess the right equipment to do so.

  1. Quick repairs

Any shortcomings or damage identified during the inspection should be repaired or replaced promptly. Damaged parts should be removed or replaced immediately to maintain the structural integrity of the guardrail. Repairs should be performed with safety standards in mind.

  1. Vegetation growth

It is common for vegetation to grow alongside roads. It can reduce the effectiveness and visibility of guardrails. Regular trimming of the grass and removal of plants should be carried out to maintain its visibility to motorists.

  1. Upgrading and retrofitting

With the advancement of technology and the evolution of new safety standards, guardrails may require upgrades or retrofits to enhance their utility and performance. This includes the use of new materials, improved energy-absorbing features, and reflective elements to improve visibility at night.
Final words

The installation and maintenance of highway guardrails play a vital role in ensuring the safety of motorists and reducing the severity of accidents. Installation of guardrails calls for prior site assessments, compliance with safety standards, proper anchoring, and determining the right height and offset.

Through regular road maintenance practices, the prime condition of roads and highways can be maintained, providing travelers with comfort and safety during transit. A guardrail can be well-kept by regular inspections, controlling vegetation growth, making prompt repairs, and upgrading it with time.

Approach VG Steel, the best highway guardrail manufacturer

The importance of highway guardrails cannot be overlooked. If you are someone who is looking for “highway guardrail suppliers near me”, then consider contacting us. We supply and install guardrails all over Malaysia. Our mission and vision are to supply road guardrails at the best prices to enhance the safety of vehicles and motorists.