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In 2006 there were 5,935,000 car accidents around the world, in 2008 there were 5,811,000 accidents, as such, while 2012 has yet to come to an end it can be assumed that based on the yearly number of accidents there will probably be 5 million accidents in this year as well.
Out of these 5 million accidents roughly 1,000,000 or more deaths will probably be the result of a car skidding out of control and hitting the solid metal fence that acts as a barrier in between lanes.
What must be understood is that while metal fences are an effective means of creating a barricade so that cars that skid out of control won’t hit other vehicles in opposing lanes they weren’t designed to protect the drivers of cars that have skidded out of control.
The fact remains that due to the nature of their design and durability metal fences can be considered as death traps for drivers that have lost control of their vehicle since impacting a solid metal fence is almost the same as colliding with a concrete wall.
At speeds ranging from 60 to 100 miles per hour on various highways and roads a sudden impact from an opposing vehicle can and will cause a car to wildly spin out of control resulting in it colliding into a metal fence resulting in the destruction of the car and the death of the driver.
It is based on this that alternative barricades are needed in order to address the issues of ensuring the protection of cars in other lanes while at the same time making sure that the driver of the car that hit the barricade isn’t too badly injured.
Plastic Fences (Water filled Plastic Barricades)
One of the more ideal methods to address this issue is the use of plastic fences as an alternative to the traditional metal barricades seen in many highways and roads today.
A plastic fence is composed of a series of plastic barricades constructed out of a durable yet pliable PVC plastic. Each barricade is filled with water to give it a certain degree of durability and weight however upon impact by a moving vehicle the water within it acts as a means of slowing down the vehicle without the accompanying complete destruction of the car’s external frame.
The reason behind this is quite simple, while the water gives the barricades sufficient enough weight to prevent an out of control vehicle from crossing into the adjoining lane the fact that the interior of the barricade is filled with water actually prevents further damage to the car, absorbs the built up momentum and displaces it towards the sides.
In the case of a metal fence the built up momentum generated by a fast moving car is the main reason behind fatalities involving impacts with metal barricades since the built up force is rebounded upon the car and driver upon striking the solid metal barrier.
A certain degree of “give” is needed in order to prevent the impact of the vehicle from causing further damage and as such water filled plastic barricades do this quite well.
Easy Installation and Cost Effectiveness
It must be noted that not only are plastic fences safer for drivers they are actually much easier and cheaper to install as compared to the traditional metal fence.
When water isn’t added to the plastic barricades they are actually quite light and easily transported from one location to another. It is only on the site where they are to be utilized that water is added in giving such barricades the characteristic weight and rigidity needed to sustain the impact of a moving vehicle.
On average a single metal fence can cost as much as $ 1 million dollars or more per mile due to the amount of materials needed and the cost of labor involved while plastic barricades due to their low cost and low labor nature can cost $250,000 or less per mile of road.
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Another fact that should be taken into consideration is the advantage in visibility that plastic fences have over metal ones. Since they can be easily manufactured to any type of color scheme and illumination needed a plastic fence becomes far easier for drivers to see in both the day and the night unlike traditional metal barricades that practically blend into the background at times.
The greater visibility allows drivers to react faster and thus use the breaks of their vehicle before impacting the barrier resulting in a far lesser degree of momentum built up.
This degree of visibility helps to lessen the amount of accidents that occur when drivers didn’t see the barriers due to poor visibility.
Countries such as Germany, France, Denmark and Italy have actually seen the safety and cost benefits of utilizing such a method of protection for cars along highways and as such have begun widely adopting plastic fences as a far safer and cost effective alternative to the metal fences that they had been using for so long.
Based on the exampled provided it can be seen that plastic fences act as a far better and more effective means of safety and protection due to their greater visibility and the fact that they can slow a car down and displace the momentum built up which normally causes severe damage to both the car and the driver on the moment of impact.
Not only that, their affordable nature and the fact that they can be easily installed makes them a far better alternative to traditional metal fences.
As such, it is recommended that any city that cares for the safety drivers should start implementing plastic fences as the primary barricades utilized along highways and roads today in order to both protect drivers in other lanes as well as those involved in accidents.