Gorski Consulting has made several references to the dangers of roadside rails that, upon impact, create an exposed end of the rail that can harpoon a striking vehicle. This danger was highlighted in a 1989 research paper co-authored by Zygmunt. M. Gorski and the University of Western Ontario Accident Research Team. Warnings were also provided of the exposed ends of such a rail that continues to exist on the busy Oxford Street at its intersection with Quebec Street in London.
We have previously discussed the harpooning of a vehicle by such a railing from an impact in February of 2016 at the intersection of Wharncliffe Road and Horton Street, as noted in the photo below.
This harpooning was caused by the west railing and at that time we also took some photos of the undamaged, east railing as shown below.
While the possibility of harpooning of an occupant of a vehicle is not frequent it only needs to be demonstrated that its effects can be extreme, as shown in a figure taken from our 1989 research paper shown below.
As we have essentially no influence on those who install and maintain these systems all we can do is warn the public through this website.