While guard rails are installed to keep the motor vehicles safe and ensure that they do not fall out, sometimes they can be extremely dangerous. We have seen in the past how the guardrail can cause fatal accidents. Here is a BMW 3-Series that went into a guard rail at a high speed and the results were not very pretty.
This incident is from Gujarat where we can see a BMW 3-Series after a crash. The incident happened on an 8-lane highway. While the exact details remain unknown, it is likely that the BMW 3-Series driver lost control of the vehicle at a high-speed. The car crashed into the guard rail that pierced into the car.
The impact was so high that the guardrail split the BMW 3-Series in two and it went through the car like a hot knife through butter. There are no injuries reported in this accident. It is highly likely that only the driver was present in the vehicle.
There are many such accidents reported from across the country. Earlier this year, a Kia Carens faced a similar incident on the Mumbai-Pune expressway. Three passengers present in the car were injured but were saved. Cyrus Mistry, former Tata Group Chairman was killed in a road accident while travelling in a Mercedes-Benz GLC SUV. His SUV crashed into an unsecured divider and later the same divider was made safer with the crash attenuators.
Road infrastructure in India
The road infrastructure in India is still unsafe, despite hundreds of kilometres of highways being added every month. This is due to ongoing construction, open-ended guard rails, and the presence of stray animals. To enhance safety, cable barriers or sloping down the crash guard can be installed. Additionally, most guard rails on India’s highways are unmarked. To remain safe on the highways, it is imperative to adhere to speed limits and not speed up on empty roads. High speeds can reduce reaction time, which is critical during emergencies. Open-ended guard rails, when installed or maintained improperly, can also pose grave dangers. In other countries, cable barriers are used as a safer alternative.
Crash attenuators are effective in minimizing vehicle damage by absorbing the energy during a head-on collision with iron structures. This helps to save lives and reduce injuries sustained by those travelling in the car. NHAI is also working towards installing more attenuators on the other river bridges present on the highway between Ahmedabad and Mumbai, in addition to the existing ones. Incidentally, Cyrus Mistry was killed in a similar accident while travelling in a Mercedes-Benz SUV after which the NHAI started these road works to make the guardrails safer. But, most of the guardrails across the country remain extremely dangerous with the open ends.
While guard rails do save a lot of lives by deflecting the vehicles towards the roads and ensuring that they do not fall down, the open ends can be extremely dangerous and one should be very careful while driving around such open rails.