A guard rail was designed with only one objective in mind — to prevent people from falling off the side of the road whilst driving. First patented back in 1933 by Samuel R. Garner, we’ve seen them work and we’ve also seen them become even more dangerous had a different variation of the same crash played out. It’s for that reason why there are still those attempting to perfect the original patent with new ideas and new materials. Take for instance these new guard rails from Korea, for instance:
Developed and manufactured by ETI, these rails are still in the test phases, but they’re proving more beneficial than not even this early. Because of their directional, flowing design, even a heavy tractor trailer can’t plow through them like you’d think it could. At first glance they look like even a Gremlin would be able to break the rail, but it’s simply not the case.
Using two sets of aluminum piping with vertical, plastic rollers lined up between them, these are less about stopping a vehicle and more about guiding them safely back to the road. Using the vehicles own momentum they take less of a blunt impact and aim more to “guide” until the driver can regain control or at the least come to a complete stop. This means no heavy impacts and less chance of your airbags popping off on your face.
It’s amazing to think how even the simplest technology and ideas can be near infinitely refined. I’m still waiting for that laser bread cutter that toasts as it slices.