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SAFER Barrier Is a Cost-Effective Solution for Your Racetrack

Smith proudly manufactures and installs SAFER Barrier for racetracks throughout North America and Europe. This revolutionary on-track fencing system uses steel and foam components to absorb kinetic energy in the event of a crash, helping to reduce bounce-backs and lower the chance of injury. It’s available for both permanent and temporary concrete barriers, and can even be installed as a freestanding system.

Safer barriers on every wall.

We’re Proud To Be The Premier Manufacturer And Installer Of Safer Barrier Technology

Smith Fence is a certified supplier and installer of SAFER Barrier.  This revolutionary race track wall system has been improving safety at tracks around the world since first being installed at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2002. Explore some of the articles below to learn more.

Nascar logo.
Nascar SAFER Barrier
International Speedway Corporation logo.
International Speedway Corporation
Dover International Speedway logo.
Dover International Speedway
Cost-effective SAFER barriers for race tracks.

SAFER Barrier’s Innovative Design Will Protect Drivers at Your Raceway

Are you familiar with SAFER Barrier? This on-track fencing system features an industry-leading design that protects racecar drivers in the event of a crash. SAFER (short for “Steel and Foam Energy Reduction”) Barrier uses 3/16-inch steel and foam-block backing to absorb kinetic energy from racecars during high-speed impacts, thereby preventing them from bouncing back onto the track. Plus, thanks to flat, flush surfaces, SAFER Barrier prevents wrapping and catch-and-pivot wrecks.

The History of SAFER Barrier Design

Before the invention of SAFER Barrier, oval racetracks generally featured reinforced concrete walls along their perimeters. While these walls were incredibly durable and helped to prevent racecars from leaving the track and injuring spectators, they also caused the cars to bounce back onto the track, putting all of the drivers at risk. In 2001, following the tragic death of racecar driver Dale Earnhardt, NASCAR hired Dr. Dean Sicking to look into what had caused that crash. This investigation led to the design and creation of SAFER Barrier, which was first installed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2002. Following the installation, Kyle Busch hit a wall protected by SAFER Barrier and survived what could have otherwise been a fatal crash. This success prompted NASCAR to expand its use of SAFER Barrier.

Installed SAFER barrier in race tracks.
SAFER barrier installed in race tracks.

The Cost of Having SAFER Barrier Installed

Racetrack owners are sometimes hesitant to have SAFER Barrier installed because it can cost more upfront than alternative solutions. When you consider the many advantages that SAFER Barrier offers, however, it is well worth any additional costs. Compared to plastic barriers, for instance, SAFER Barrier is significantly more durable, reliable, and versatile. Plus, because SAFER Barrier is engineered for longevity, it can cut down on repair and replacement costs down the road. All of SAFER Barrier’s steel components feature a hot-dip galvanized coating that’s made of tightly bonded, abrasion-resistant intermetallic layers. This coating resists corrosion, allowing the barriers to last for 70+ years without the need for maintenance. Unlike plastic barriers, SAFER Barrier won’t warp, split, or discolor. And, if you’re concerned about the cost of repainting SAFER Barrier to cover damage from a crash, you’ll be glad to know that certain barriers feature a duplex system that minimizes surface preparation requirements.

Why Choose SAFER Barrier for Your Track?

SAFER Barrier is unlike any other race track fencing system because it uses a unique combination of steel and foam-block backing to absorb kinetic energy and prevent bounce-back crashes. If you’ve been researching race track safety wall systems, you may have come across ones made of plastic barriers. Here are just a few reasons why the SAFER Barrier system is a superior choice:

SAFER race track barrier.

Maximum Efficiency & Protection

While a typical 1,000-meter project would require 750 plastic barriers and 15 truckloads of material, we can complete the same project using only 117 SAFER barriers and nine truckloads of material. SAFER Barrier safety systems are a great choice for race track owners who are concerned about efficiency. With regard to time, a plastic barrier installation would take 15 days, compared to the nine days needed for a SAFER Barrier installation (14 days for the new generation system).

Cars won’t be able to get under the SAFER Barrier during a crash, making them a much safer solution than its plastic counterparts.

Remarkable Versatility & Durability

SAFER Barrier safety systems are also incredibly versatile. They can be installed on both temporary and permanent concrete barriers. Or, if you prefer, SAFER Barrier can even be installed as a freestanding system, eliminating the need for concrete or Tri Rail ARMCO backing. And, while plastic barriers can’t be customized to include access vehicle gates, SAFER Barrier can easily incorporate them. If you’re interested in adding a crash fence, the new generation of SAFER Barrier allows you to incorporate one into the safety system. SAFER Barrier is also able to incorporate access vehicle gates and won’t discolor, warp, or split.

Race track catch fencing.

Why Choose Us to Install Your Race Track Wall?

Smith Fence has the experience and technology required to install your SAFER barrier on temporary and permanent barriers. We can also install them on freestanding systems without using concrete walls or Tri ARMCO for support. 

A car traveling over 180 mph has roughly the same kinetic as stored two pounds of T.N.T. When it comes to a stop, all that energy must go somewhere. The resultant energy decapitates through five ways, skidding, light and sound, spinning, or deformation. Every driver wants to get off this energy any other way but not through their bodies. 

While the mattress is a good material for absorbing such energy, it won’t make any difference for a speeding stock car. So, it would help if you had something soft but much stiffer, and that is where SAFER barriers come in. They use the energy from the crushing car to deform the barrier and distribute the impact over a more extended time, directing the energy away from drivers and passengers.

We Understand Racetrack Safety

We’ve been working with the racing industry since 1985, and we’ve taken steps to learn as much as possible about race track safety. If you require something more than a new race track wall, you’ll be glad to know that our company also installs crash fencing for permanent tracks and temporary road and street courses, as well as spectator fencing.