Ever Wondered Why Concrete Barriers On The Freeway Slope Upwards?


Answers to this and everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the Jersey Barrier.

Driving didn't always used to be as easy as it has become these days, but given that American roads have been privy to the car for over a century, we’ve had more than a few years to refine the art. At first, it was just clunky precursors to the Model T rolling around at crawl speeds. It wasn’t until 1901 that the first laws were enacted to cap vehicle speed, starting with Connecticut. That law limited cars to 12 mph in the city and 15 mph on the country road, but things have changed and average travel speeds have risen…by quite a bit.

It was around the post-war era that mega freeways and powerful muscle cars came into the picture, and the gruesome results of high-impact collisions with oncoming traffic forced road engineers to think of a way around the problem.

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Donut media has taken some time to tell us the story of the Jersey barrier, that upward-sloped concrete embankment that prevents cars from going into the oncoming lane and causing pandemonium after losing control. And though it might seem counterintuitive to slope it upwards, causing the wreckage to come crashing down, it has the effect of better dissipating the crash energy so it’s not all directed at bending the frame of the vehicle. So take some time to give thanks to the engineers who made these little concrete lifesavers, as well as those who had to pass in order to make it happen. Such is the way of progress.