Crash Investigation on Automobile vs. Crash Barrier: Assessment of W-Beam Guardrail with respect to REAM Standard

I. Abdul Hamid, S. T. M. Syed Tajul Arif, N. S. Mohd Zulkiffli, R. Sarani, M. S. Solah and M. R. Osman

Abstract: Road traffic crashes involving longitudinal traffic safety barriers, especially W-beam guardrails, are not uncommon. This shows the importance of the guardrails in performing its functions. In Malaysia, installation of the guardrails are according to a guideline published by REAM in 2006. However, the compliance of the barriers installation to the standards can be further verified to ensure its quality and integrity. Site survey on the barriers shows that compliance to the standards are high if it is installed and maintained under the concession, e.g. by PLUS Expressways Berhad. However, there are some issues concerning installation of barriers if it is under custodian of local authorities. The parameters used to measure the compliance, among others, are installation ground condition, overlapping, post height, post spacing, clear zone, guardrail conditions and sub-standards installation. It is suggested to the local authorities to give more emphasis on the inspection of existing barriers, as well as maintenance and replacement of barriers. This is because the barriers will not perform according to its function as it is intended under non-reliable conditions. The outcomes of this study will provide the road transport related agencies on the real conditions of W- beam guardrails installed on roads in Malaysia.

Keywords:Automotive crash investigation, traffic safety barrier, W-beam guardrail, barrier installation, REAM


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