Doing roadwork is an essential part of infrastructure maintenance. Yet roadwork crew members often face higher safety risks than other types of public employees, especially when working around busy roads and highways that can't be completely blocked. Setting up barriers is one option for safety, but not all barriers can stop a moving car from traveling even at low speeds. Crash trucks, also known as attenuators, can make these worksites much safer in multiple ways when used correctly.

Greater Visibility

First, crash trucks feature multiple design elements designed to draw attention to the worksite. Most are painted with hazard yellow and orange markings, and some feature flashing arrow or letter signs to help communicate to drivers where to go. Flashing lights are particularly important to catch the attention of night-time drivers. Since roadwork is often carried out at night to take advantage of cooler temperatures and reduced traffic flow, the lights or reflectors on a crash truck may be the primary warning of an active worksite. The size of the crash truck makes it more visible to drivers than other devices like freestanding flashing signs or smaller painted barriers.

Physical Barrier Between Traffic and Workers

In case a driver doesn't notice the crash truck and strays too far out of their lane, the truck and its trailer acts as a durable physical barrier between the vehicles and the workers. This kind of physical barrier not only reduces contact between vehicles and workers, but reminds workers of where to stay to avoid active traffic. Parking the crash truck in the closed lane that's being paved or patched establishes an immediate physical barrier that's stronger than any cones, barrels, or even some concrete barriers.

Crash Protection

Crash trucks are named after their ability to absorb a high-impact crash if necessary. Low and medium-impact crashes are also covered, reducing the risk to workers substantially. Even with good visibility and drivers making their best attempts to follow the traffic flow, malfunctioning vehicles and adverse weather conditions can still lead to crashes. Vehicles traveling more than just a few miles per hour can permanently injure or kill a roadworker, so it's best to find a crash truck rental rated to absorb the average top speed of drivers using the road.

Easy Relocation

There are many options for physical barriers and crash protection on a road worksite. However, few of them are as easy to move as the work continues down the road as a crash truck. It has an engine built in to move the barrier with the crew, with no other equipment necessary.