Nebraska Patent of the Month – March 2021

Highways often have roadside guardrails to help absorb impact energy and reduce multilane collisions, or protect vehicles from obstacles on the other side. They have end terminals and anchor cable release mechanisms to help with breakaway posts. These posts breakaway in head-on collisions, but provide resistance in side-loaded impacts. Some studies show that these posts do not always function as needed and cause the vehicle to decelerate rapidly, increasing impact forces. These issues arise mostly when the anchor cable snags, preventing the posts from crumbling or breaking away. Safety By Design, Inc. has designed an improved breakaway guardrail post to enhance safety for everyone.

Safety by Design is a full-service third party safety consulting firm specializing in laying the foundation and working with Management to maintain overall effectiveness. Their breakaway guardrail post design connects to a sequential kinking terminal (SKT). They have altered this connection to the upstream side of the guardrail to prevent snagging. The posts are connected using W-beam guardrail sections. The bolting mechanism that attaches the posts, sections, and anchor cables is designed to release on impact, allowing the posts to breakaway and slowing the vehicle down in the process.

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