As many drivers will have noted on the Northbound M5 recently, accidents involving HGVs can be devastating. The sheer size and mass means that an errant HGV is almost unstoppable. Almost.
Relieved motorists travelling on the Southbound carriageway looked on as a HGV ploughed into the concrete barrier central reservation after colliding with a car. It could have been very different…
The H2W2 performance-rated concrete barrier, in place within the central reserve since 2010, directly prevented the type of chaotic, fatal cross-over incident that Highways England has sought to prevent.
With more and more rigid barrier being introduced on to the network, we are beginning to see the added protection that these systems provide. An H2 rigid concrete barrier is designed contain a 13 tonne vehicle, not a 38 tonne HGV, yet many like yesterday’s incident have demonstrated that the barrier can take such an impact with minimal damage.
Traffic on our roads will continue to grow and frequency of concrete barrier impacts will naturally increase. Most impacts will go unnoticed, yet the major impacts are highlighting that we really are beginning to see a welcome trend of greater than declared performance for the system.