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Publication numberUS3807699 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 30, 1974
Filing dateJan 19, 1973
Priority dateJan 19, 1973
Publication numberUS 3807699 A, US 3807699A, US-A-3807699, US3807699 A, US3807699A
InventorsW France
Original AssigneeW France
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Safety guard rail for highway medians
US 3807699 A
Abstract
A barrier or guard rail on a highway median which has a gutter on each side sufficiently deep and wide so that wheels of vehicles which collide with the barrier fall into the gutter and their axles or under carriages drag on the upper edge of the gutter. Warning lights or beacons, which are either automatically or manually operated, may be placed on the barrier to warn oncoming vehicles of a possible mishap. The barrier or gutter may also contain electronic sensing devices which alert highway personnel of the location of a vehicle in trouble.
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United States Patent [1 1 France Apr. 30, 1974 1 SAFETY GUARD RAIL FOR HIGHWAY MEDIANS 22 Filed: Jan. 19, 1973 21 App]. No.: 325,110

[52] US. Cl 256/13.l, 404/6, 256/1 [51] Int. Cl E01f 15/00 [58] Field of Search 256/13.1; 404/2, 6, 7, 404/8, 9,71,4; 340/114 B,5l,61

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,288,440 11/1966 Schimmelpenninck 404/6 3,202,393 8/1965 Pettit 404/4 3,509,527 4/1970 Oakes et a1. 340/51 3,478,311 1 11/1969 Czingula 340/61 2,880,405 3/1959 Lerman 340/114 B FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,350,411 10/1963 France .L. 404/7 1,197,110 7/1965 Germany ..256/13.1

Primary Examiner-James R. Boler Assistant Examiner-Conrad L. Berman Attorney, Agent, or FirmMorton, Bernard, Brown, Roberts & Sutherland [5 7] ABSTRACT A barrier or guard rail on a highway median which-has a gutter on each side sufficiently deep and wide so that wheels of vehicles which collide with the barrier fallvinto the gutter and their axles or under carriages drag on the upper edgeof the gutter. Warning lights or beacons, which are either automatically or manually operated, may be placed on the barrier to warn oncoming vehicles of a possible mishap. The barrier or gutter may also contain electronic sensing devices which alert highway personnel of the location of a vehicle in trouble.

6 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTEBAPR 30 I974 SHEET 2 OF 3 slaovlsss PATENTEB RR 30 .19"

sum 3 'UF 3 FIG. 4.

n WW 1 SAFETY-GUARD RAIL FOR HIGHWAY MEDIANS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The field of this invention is highway barriers and guard rails for use on medians which serve to prevent collisions between traffic going in opposite directions. On multi-lane highways, there is a manifest danger of vehicles crossing the median into lanes of oncoming traffic. This danger has increased in recent years as the nations highways have become morecrowded and cars have become faster. The widening of highways by changing part or all of a once safely wide median into additional traffic lanes has increased the likelihood of these dangerous accidents.

To prevent these dangers, the art has developed and built barriers, often of reinforced concrete, which are strong enough to prevent a car from crashing through them. While these barriers have thus prevented any collision with oncoming traffic, they often throw the crashing vehicle back into its own highway lane, causing disastrous collisions with vehicles traveling in its direction. The prior art has also addressed the problem of vehicles rebounding into the stream of trafficas for instance the disclosure of US. Leters Pat. No. 3,288,440.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION My invention is a barrier, designed to prevent traffic crashing through it into other lanes of traffic, with gutters next to the barrier which are sufficiently wide that when a vehicle crashes against it, the wheels of the vehicle on the side near the barrier fall into the gutter. The sides of the gutter of my invention are sufficiently deep that, once the wheels are in it, (1) the vehicle is not likely to rebound off the barrier back into traffic and (2) the axle or undercarriage of the vehicle will scrape along the upper edge of the gutter, thus acting to slow the vehicle.

A car may crash out of control into a barrier due to a failure of the steering or brakes or due to a heart attack or other incapacity 'of the driver. This invention is designed to protect the driver and occupants and occupants of other vehicles from further injuries The barrier may have beacons on it, either manually or automatically operated, which will warn traffic that a vehicle has hit the barrier or is in the gutter. The barrier or gutter may have electronic sensing devices imbedded in them .to notify highway personnel of the 10- cation where a vehicle is in the gutter. The gutter would have drains built into it of sufficient size to handle rain water or meltingsnow from the highway. This invention eliminates the present form of highway gutter. The whole structure may be built adjacent to the highway road bed or be separated from it, by an area of grass for example.

While I have discussed my invention in the context of a divider between two streams of traffic going in opposite directions, my structure can also be built on a side of a roadway with no traffic on the other side of the barrier or it may separate two streams of traffic both traveling in the same direction.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a perspective view of my invention, made of concrete with reinforcing bars, in use with a tractor trailer lodged safely against the barrier with wheels of the vehicle in the gutter and signals turned on.

' 2 FIG. 2, a vertical transverse sectional view taken substantially along line 2-2 in FIG. I, shows the trailer wheels in the gutter and the axle and undercarriage resting on the pressure sensitive switching strip and the upper edge of the gutter. In this embodiment,.the

wheels of the truck do not contact the bottom of the gutter.

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary enlarged perspective view of my invention as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, but with the roadway built up to the gutters edge.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 2, but with an automobile lodged safely in the gutter.

FIG. 5 is similar to FIG. 3, but shows a manually actuated distress beacon.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In its preferred embodiment, the guard rail 10 is separated from adjoining roadways 11, 12 by grass areas 13, 14 about one vehicle wide. The center barrier 15 and the gutters 16, 17 are made of reinforced concrete. The top of the center barrier is approximately 6 feet above the bottom of the gutter, the gutter is approximately 3 to 4 feet wide (wide enough to accommodate large dual truck and bus wheels and tires), and the upper edge of the side 18 of the gutter and the surrounding ground are approximately 18 inches above the bottom of the gutter. The surface of the bottom of the gutter is approximately parallel to the grade of the highway and the angle of the wall of the gutter to its bottom, and of the barrier to the bottom of the gutter, are each about The gutter has adequate drains 26; and beacons 21 are placed at reasonable intervals. When a vehicle tire lodges in the gutter, sensing means are triggered, for instance sensing strips 22. This actuates through electric connector 23, 24 the beacons 2l for a sufficient distance in front of andto the rear of the vehicle to warn oncoming traffic. For example, strip 22 may be segmentized into quarter mile sections with each section connected to a different radio frequency transmitting device which can broadcast to highway personnel at a central location when the sensing strip for a particular quarter mile is triggered, thus identifying the location of the lodged vehicle as being within that particular one-quarter, mile interval. The sensing strip itself or auxiliary electronic means may also alert highway personnel of the location of the lodged vehicle. Beacons 21 may also be manually actuated by switches 25.

The beacons Zll may be mounted on poles to prevent them being obscured by snow on the barrier top. Also on top of the barrier may be headlight reflecting fences where road contours make oncoming headlights visible.

The bottom of the gutter will have drains 26 which will replace the present drainage system of highways.

An automobile which is heading off a roadway will usually be skidding sideways and either the front or rear wheel will lodge in the gutter. Inertial forces will then usually carry the other wheel into the gutter. With both wheels in the gutter the center of gravity is lowered thus lessening the chance of the car flipping.

Having described the preferred embodiment of my invention as required by law and desiring not to be limited thereby but only by the following, I claim:

l. A system for controlling the path of vehicles accih. said upper surface disposed below the level of the dentally leaving a roadway and for restraining the vehiroadway, cles from rebounding into the roadway comprising i. the bottom of said gutter being below the level of a. a roadway having a generally horizontal, hard surthe roadway,

face, 5 j. means for drainage located in said gutter, b. a vehicle having an axle, tires and undercarriage, k. said drainage means disposed below the level of the roadway.

c. vertical barrier means disposed parallel and adja- 2. The structure of claim 1 in which manually actu- 7 cent to said roadway for restraining the vehicle ated warning beacons are mounted on the barrier. from leaving the road, 10 3. The structure of claim 1 in which automaticallyd. said vertical barrier means adjoining and forming actuated warning beacons are mounted on the barrier.

the outer wall of a generally horizontal gutter,

e. said gutter having a depth in excess of the vertical 4. The structure of claim 1 in which warning signals distance between the bottom of said tires and the are actuated in connection with said vehicles lodging undercarriage and axle, in the gutter.

f. said vertical barrier means having a height from 5. The structure of claim 1 in which electronic senssaid gutter in excess of the diameter of a vehicle ing devices, embedded in the barrier or gutter, transmit signals responsive to the location of said vehicle on the g. means comprising the upper surface of an inner roadway.

wall of said gutter, cooperating with the axle or un- 6. The combination of claim 1 in which the barrier dercarriage of said vehicle for decelerating said vemeans is the median of a divided two way highway and hicle and preventing the rebounding back onto said said gutter means adjoin both sides of said barrier.

roadway of said vehicle,

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2880405 *Feb 28, 1957Mar 31, 1959Leonard S LermanPortable illuminated danger signal
US3202393 *Aug 30, 1962Aug 24, 1965Pettit Chester WForm holding bracket
US3288440 *Aug 13, 1964Nov 29, 1966Hendrikus Laurens MariaHighway guard
US3478311 *Nov 22, 1967Nov 11, 1969Janos CzingulaAutomobile parking accident alarm system
US3509527 *Oct 12, 1965Apr 28, 1970Oakes Francis JGuidance systems for directing the driver of a car along a prescribed pathway
DE1197110B *Jul 7, 1961Jul 22, 1965Wilhelm Von Der LindeWarnvorrichtung fuer mit Leiteinrichtungen, z. B. Leitplanken, versehene Strassen
FR1350411A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4105353 *Dec 6, 1976Aug 8, 1978Bork C GaryBarrier with internal drainage duct
US4376595 *Aug 8, 1980Mar 15, 1983Arthur ShawMonolithic water-permeable concrete roadway and related large area structures with integral drainage elements
US4453844 *Mar 14, 1983Jun 12, 1984Arthur ShawMonolithic water-permeable concrete roadway and related large area structures with integral drainage elements
US4463934 *Jul 28, 1982Aug 7, 1984Ochoa Pedro SSafety barriers for highways and the like
US4515499 *Apr 19, 1983May 7, 1985Furiate David LTraffic lane delineator
US5429448 *Mar 31, 1993Jul 4, 1995Ballesteros; Angel G.System of signposting, beaconing, and safety upon impact in barriers for provisional use on highways, roads, and the like
US5453916 *Dec 17, 1993Sep 26, 1995Tennis; Bonnie S.Modular safety light system
US6502805Jan 5, 2001Jan 7, 2003David R. LewisSheet-metal highway guardrail system
US6539175Jun 29, 2000Mar 25, 2003Energy Absorption Systems, Inc.Highway crash barrier monitoring system
US6695469Nov 19, 2001Feb 24, 2004Energy Absorption Systems, Inc.Roadway freezing point monitoring system and method
US6782624 *Mar 14, 2002Aug 31, 2004The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The ArmyModular barrier system for satisfying needs unique to a specific user
US6926462 *Nov 19, 2002Aug 9, 2005C.R.F. Societa Consortile Per AzioniRetractable road barrier
US6935622Sep 26, 2002Aug 30, 2005Thorgeir JonssonLateral load bearing structural cantilevered system such as highway guardrail and bridge rail systems
US7090392Nov 5, 2003Aug 15, 2006Energy Absorption Systems, Inc.Roadway freezing point monitoring system and method
US7144186 *Sep 28, 2004Dec 5, 2006Kontek Industries, Inc.Massive security barrier
US7942602Jun 11, 2007May 17, 2011Protectus, LlcBarrier system
US8206056Feb 22, 2010Jun 26, 2012Patriot Barrier Systems, LlcBarrier system
US8430595 *May 11, 2007Apr 30, 2013Mccrary Personal Transport System, LlcLow friction safety system for a personal vehicle guideway
US20030183814 *Mar 14, 2002Oct 2, 2003Marsh Charles P.Modular barrier system for satisfying needs unique to a specific user
US20050058177 *Nov 5, 2003Mar 17, 2005Energy Absorption Systems, Inc.Roadway freezing point monitoring system and method
US20050175408 *Nov 19, 2002Aug 11, 2005Antonio FugantiRetractable road barrier
US20080118306 *May 11, 2007May 22, 2008Mccrary Homer TLow Friction Safety System for a Personal Vehicle Guideway
US20100219390 *Feb 22, 2010Sep 2, 2010Patriot Barrier Systems, LlcBarrier system
DE102012109579A1 *Oct 9, 2012Apr 10, 2014INFATEC Consulting für innovative Fahrzeugtechnik GmbHRoad boundary arrangement installed in motor car track, has track guidance trench that is provided to limit track edge of roadway, and compressible mounting unit that is provided between barrier element and post
EP0297182A1 *Jul 1, 1987Jan 4, 1989Energy Absorption Systems, Inc.Energy absorbing barrier
EP0856609A1 *Jan 20, 1998Aug 5, 1998Munoz Ramon AndreuImproved fence
Classifications
U.S. Classification256/13.1, 256/1, 404/6
International ClassificationE01F15/04, E01F15/08, E01F9/03
Cooperative ClassificationE01F9/03, E01F15/0492, E01F15/083
European ClassificationE01F15/08M2, E01F15/04P, E01F9/03