The Fitch Barrier
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John Fitch and his barrierThe yellow sand-filled Fitch Barrier is a crash cushion commonly seen in front of bridge abutments and other potential roadside hazards. The barrel-shaped design is considered one of the more cost-effective crash attenuators on the market today. Modules are designed to handle impacts from compact cars to SUVs without ramping, minimizing the likelihood of injuries to passengers and reducing property damage, while meeting all the requirements of the NCHRP 350 standard. [To learn more about NCHRP 350, visit this Federal Highway Administration web site]

In 1998 Fitch received the Kenneth Stonex Award from the Transportation Research Board, a part of the National Academy of Sciences, for his lifelong contributions in the field of roadside safety.

The National Science Foundation lists the Fitch Barrier (aka "Yellow Barrels") as one of the Fifty "...inventions, innovations and discoveries that have become commonplace in our lives."

John Fitch says that the design for the barrel was inspired by sand-filled petrol cans he used to protect his tent from strafing German aircraft in the North African desert during World War II.   The modular design of the barrier enable quick setup and repair in the event of minor damage. A set of barriers is place in front of the hazard to provide progressive deceleration during an impact.

Copyright ©2016 by Race Safety, Inc. Portions copyright John Fitch. All Rights Reserved.