Road Barrier System News

Low deflection in barriers explained

When there is work being done on a road, particularly a motorway, it's essential to include portable road barriers for everyone's safety.

Safety for highway construction workers

In most cases, work areas on roads are quite limited in terms of providing sufficient space for both workers and passing traffic, which can often to lead to cutting corners where barriers and deflection rates are concerned.

Safety always needs to come first and enough space to be able to deflect a vehicle from hitting a road worker should always be allowed for.


What is deflection in road works?
Barriers on roads are divided into three subcategories, based on the level of 'deflection' they offer. Low, medium and high.

The concept of 'deflection' refers to the amount of force or weight a barrier can deflect and how far a vehicle that strikes a barrier will deflect.

How is road barrier deflection defined?

There are different design features that go into creating a barrier, which will make the level of deflection increase, such as the profile of the barrier and the resistance recorded in crash test conditions.

There are strict testing processes that all traffic barriers have to go through for classification, involving vehicles of different weights hitting them from different angles while travelling at different speeds to ensure that with any possible hit, the workforce are kept as safe as possible.

Low deflection and barrier profile
The subcategory of 'low deflection' will generally mean the barrier has the narrowest profile available and will deflect the vehicle away from the workforce with minimum impact to any other traffic. The vehicle will stop close to the barrier and therefore remain out of the way, as much as possible.


The lower the deflection, the better the protection and level of safety.

How low-deflection barriers work best for work zones

There are some simple reasons why road barrier systems are essential in work zones on UK highways, which include:

  • Shielding motorists from the hazards of the work area
  • Providing positive protection for workers
  • Partitioning two-way traffic
  • Minimising vehicle impact and further collisions with passing traffic
  • Speeding up the traffic, saving time for motorists and highway workers

<!--[if--><!--[endif]-->

Choose a supplier, installer and maintainer of barriers in one
Once you have decided on a supplier of barriers you’ll want to double check they can install it too – or if not, that someone else who is qualified will be able to. Portable steel barriers need specialist transportation and if you choose a supplier and installer in one, their fleet will have the capacity to fit as much barrier on as possible for one job.

There’s also maintenance to think about. What happens when someone does hit a barrier? Who do you contact – the supplier or installer? In the case of Highway Care…either!

Highway Care: manufacturers, suppliers, installers and maintainers of road barrier systems

At Highway Care Ltd we supply, install and maintain a range of road barrier systems and other products for traffic control and worker safety. Innovation in safety on UK roads is what we strive for.

<!--![endif]--><!--![if-->

Visit our Resources Library

Online services include access to resources & support documentation

Start here