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Crash tested barriers and motorsport safety

Lights out away we go

The motorsport season is in full swing after last weekend’s British Formula One Grand Prix at Silverstone. The very best motor racing has to offer comes to West Sussex this weekend. Thousands of petrol heads will descend on Goodwood for this weekend’s Festival of Speed. Nothing gets the adrenaline flowing faster than a day at a motor racing circuit with the smell of petrol, the roar of engines and the thrilling sight of high octane racing. Is there any other sport where excitement and danger sit so closely side by side?

But with multi million pound pieces of steel and aluminium careering round the track at speeds in excess of 200mph, the potential for catastrophe is rare but not unheard of. The perimeter of a racetrack is an exciting but high-risk environment from the hazard of a high speed collision or a coming together between speeding racers. Drivers, spectators and race officials should have an expectation of safety when attending a motorsport event.

As industry leading experts, SafeSite Facilities have a wide range of protective safety products to meet that expectation.

Prevention better than the cure

In the event of the unthinkable, crash tested barriers play a crucial role in the prevention of an accident for those behind both the barriers and the wheel.

Modern traffic barriers function by incorporating a “crumple zone”. This ensures a certain level of flexibility to absorb, distribute, and redirect the kinetic energy generated during a collision. This significantly reduces the likelihood of fatalities and injuries.

In the past, concrete barrier systems provided protection but resulted in abrupt stops against an unforgiving force.

Consequently, drivers often experienced the full force of the impact, as illustrated by the head-on crash of NASCAR champion Kyle Busch at Daytona. This pattern of high-profile injuries and deaths in motorsports raised concerns about the use of concrete barriers.

It also highlighted the need for safer alternatives to protect all impact zones on race tracks. More recently, F1 star Romain Grosjean miraculously escaped serious injury when his Haas car went off the track and exploded upon impact with the steel perimeter demarcation.

Our options to prevent catastrophe

Our RB22 water filled barriers are the ideal choice for indoor and outdoor racetracks. Our RB22 barriers are designed to withstand impact from vehicles travelling at up to 50mph. They interlock with reinforced steel pins and can be incorporated into a curved design. The RB22 is our premium water-filled barrier, and it’s built to protect drivers and pedestrians alike. This powerful, heavy duty barrier is also fully crash tested against the impact of a fast-moving vehicle. The RB22 is becoming a familiar and reassuring presence at racetracks at high profile events throughout the UK.

We also have smaller, low level barriers available for marking out race circuits. Their clever yet simple interlocking design allows safe, continuous circuits – even around sharp corners and turns. Lightweight when empty, these barriers are easy to deploy and relocate.  Produced from UV stabilised prime polyethylene, The RB500, 1000, 1300 and 1500 Barriers are perfect for track delineation and safety. Their locking device allows ‘s’ shapes and curves both to left and right.

Our Manta and MASS barriers are also both fully crash tested and provide substantial protection against a high-speed impact.

If you wish to find out which barrier option works best, click here to get in touch.

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