How Bollards Respond to Vehicle Impact

How Bollards Respond to Vehicle Impact

Jenny Kleiner Bollards, Crashes

Ever hear your grandmother tell you to walk with someone closer to the traffic than you? We certainly have. She said this to ensure safety and keep a safe distance between you and the vehicles or trucks that could be speeding by as they pass. Keeping a safe distance between pedestrians and vehicles is of the utmost importance to us at Blockaides — that’s why we provide bollards to help you keep this safe distance.

Bollards provide safe separation between vehicles and pedestrians along the road and in other areas. These roadside bollards also make for great tools to restrict vehicle access to certain streets, spaces or other parts of your property. You can use them to block vehicles from important structures, like a building.

If a vehicle collides with a bollard, it will be a minor or low-impact accident. Read more to find out the importance of bollards, including more information on how they respond to an impact from a vehicle.

How Do Bollards Work?

Whether it’s a low-impact, flexible, removable or decorative bollard, these posts are usually bolted firmly into the ground. Planting bollards with a plate attached to the ground with bolts or anchors ensures the posts are sturdy and firm. Higher impact bollards typically have deeply embedded footings to maximize their strength, and their resistance is based on the physics of the underground anchoring system.

Engineered footings sunk into the substrate assist the crash-rated bollard with its impact capabilities. Their cutting-edge bases also give them an impressive stopping force, making this type of bollard superior for protection and safety in the case of an on-road accident.

Another factor that reinforces a bollard’s strength is its steel-coated, concrete-filled exterior. Once you install and implant this type of bollard in the ground, it becomes a powerful, almost unmovable force, according to the laws of science.

A one-class lever pivots around a fulcrum to provide substantial force. The ground becomes the bollard’s fulcrum once you sink the post into the substrate. If a vehicle or other force impacts the bollard, the post pivots around the lip of the ground. Then the bollard pushes back against the concrete and earth, lifting in the alternate direction. However, if seeded deep enough into the ground, the bollard could remain unmoved despite the impact.

What Are the Types of Bollards for Vehicle Impact?

Not all bollards are made the same way. We offer several types of bollards, each with unique methods and applications. Every bollard option is constructed with a specific purpose in mind, such as fixed, transportable or collapsible configurations.

Removable bollards require flexibility and portability. Owners often use these bollards for safety measures to control site access at public or private settings and require posts that they can simply unlock, lift and move around whenever necessary.

Similarly, you can easily fold and move collapsible bollards to restrict or allow the flow of vehicle or pedestrian traffic in certain areas. Transportable and collapsed bollards don’t require permanent installation, so you can easily move them from place to place for your traffic deliniation applications.

If you need to post bollards for years-long installations or permanent structures, you’re looking for fixed bollards. You can install these types of bollards directly into the ground with deep bases so they can prevent crashes and separate cars from pedestrians. These fixed posts are excellent for areas that are well known for having regular heavy traffic.

heavy-duty bollards

Anti-Ram Bollards

An anti-ram bollard provides even more resistance than most other types of bollards. How do these heavy-duty bollards work? Instead of the regular steel exterior, this anti-ram bollard type has additional reinforcements to further increase its strength. The impressively strong core ensures the post won’t fracture upon impact — making this bollard the strongest type on the market. This deterrent prevents vehicles from infiltrating restricted spaces beyond the anti-ram fence and protects pedestrian traffic on walkways from passing vehicles.

Additionally, we offer non-attack-resistant and attack-resistant anti-ram bollards. Non-attack bollards are primarily useful around regular drivers who may have accidents or make mistakes in traffic. These bollards help make the streetscape more predictable with their safe and secure design. On the other hand, some properties may face people who plan to carry out attacks and incite property damage and destruction. Attack-resistant anti-ram bollards can help owners protect their buildings and possessions from intentional vehicle damage.

Crash Resistant Bollards

Crash-resistant bollards protect high-target buildings from attack. The most important aspect of this type of bollard is in its placement, as you need to set this fencing at enough distance that a potential threat cannot get in close proximity to the building to avoid possibly explosive damage. Staggered placement can also make these bollards more effective.

These crash-resistant bollards are quickly becoming popular in cities around the world, especially among government and military buildings and settings. These buildings are important institutions that often receive threats, thus it’s necessary to install reliable bollards for their protection.

Automatic Bollards

Automatic bollards, also called pop-up or retractable bollards, are used on roadways and within public or private areas as a more convenient and beneficial alternative to traffic cones. The bollards look like metal posts and can raise or lower on command in seconds.

The ability to change quickly offers a flexible solution when you want to block traffic and control vehicle access to an area at certain times. When you want to open the space to traffic and vehicle access again, the design disappears into the ground.

The retractable designs are permanently installed into the ground, although they don’t need to remain in place at all times like a fixed bollard. You can use the bollards in various applications, including parking lots and garages, public facilities, business delivery zones, emergency access lanes and private driveways.

How Can Bollards Prevent or Help a Car Crash?

Driver awareness is a huge factor in keeping roadways and passages safe. Bollards offer a visual cue, providing directions to follow an indicated path or to stay away from an area. In other cases, bollards limit the damages of collisions to people, vehicles or property. We separate these distinctions into the categories of impact-resistant and non-impact-resistant bollards.

View Bollard Crash Test Ratings

Visual Cues

Non-impact-resistant bollards, known as flexible bollards, serve as visual indicators to drivers in areas where protecting pedestrians and property aren’t the primary goal, like crowd control or navigation situations. They encourage safe driving habits and alert drivers to off-limit areas. If a driver accidentally bumps into one, the design offers gentle resistance instead of a hard stop. The flexible bollard folds under pressure, preventing damage to the bollard and vehicle.

Using bollards as visual cues works well in high-traffic areas with a low-speed limit. In these areas, pedestrians and drivers can quickly identify the bollard and know where they should or shouldn’t navigate. In spaces where people are property are vulnerable, it’s best to invest in fixed, removable or retractable bollards to provide the physical barrier needed for protection.

Physical Security Barriers

In addition to providing a visual cue, an impact-resistant bollard works as a physical barrier. The heavy-duty, tough posts are designed to stop a moving vehicle. After an impact, the bollard may bend or crack, causing a need for replacement.

Impact-resistant bollards are a valuable investment that can protect pedestrians from fast-moving vehicles. The physical barriers also provide safety to drivers, vehicles and surrounding properties.

Solutions to Protect a Commercial Property From Vehicle Impact

solutions to protect a commercial property

According to the Storefront Safety Council, about 24% of accidents at commercial properties are storefront crashes. Bollards offer a simple, cost-effective way to prevent damage from car accidents. The visual indicators and physical barriers can reduce costs related to injuries, property damages and lawsuits in these ways:

  • Guide traffic: Fixed bollards with bright colors are a reliable way to guide traffic in parking garages and lots. Using the bollards as a highly-visible and permanent perimeter can protect the garage infrastructure and provide a clear path for pedestrians to follow on their way to or from their cars.
  • Increase driver awareness: Bollards along the road help everyone perceive space and distance between other vehicles. Placing a series of bollards on the street can make the path appear more narrow, encouraging drivers to slow down in high-traffic areas.
  • Protect your building and property: Bollards can protect a business from impact and theft. Installing the bollards in front of an entrance loading area or parking lot can provide enough space for pedestrians while preventing vehicles from getting too close.

Check Out Security Bollards From Blockaides Today

In short, bollards are excellent tools to maximize the security and protection around your building or property, no matter the type or scale. These versatile posts also give you the freedom and flexibility to direct traffic and keep pedestrians safe.

If you’d like to learn more about the different types of bollards and all of the options we have available, please browse our site. We’re happy to help you throughout the process, from learning more about bollards and bollard covers to considering which option is best for your application. You can get in touch with us today to get started.

quality bollards from blockaides