Why do some people call guard rails guide rails, what do they guide?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The "Politically Correct" term is, "GUIDE "rail.

    They were originally called "Guard "rails.

    But I guess that, in today's lawsuit happy society,it had to be changed, since they don't actually "guard" you from going over the edge of the road( I can PERSONALLY attest to that), but are more like a guide, as to where the edge of the road is.

    Just as "Prison Guards" are now "Corrections Officers" since they don't actually "guard" the prisoners, instead they "contain and correct" inmates.

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  • 1 decade ago

    OK. This is the rail category, so I'll go out on a limb and assume you are speaking of railroad 'guard rails'.

    These are used to help keep equipment on a structure, even though a set of wheels may have derailed. They are usually found over bridges, trestles and inside of tunnels. They are laid between and inside the regular rails that the equipment rides on.

    They are tapered together at each end, forming a point, so any approaching derailed equipment will ride between them and the outside rails, keeping the equipment from falling off an elevated structure, or from creating a huge mess inside of tunnels.

    At one time they were common place, but now are usually seen only where there is a high degree of probability that a derailment will cause a large amount of destruction or pollution in the event of spilled haz-mat.

    Or were you talking about hi-way guard rails? Guide or guard, it makes no difference. The question I would ask is, "Why do they call them 'rails'?" It's not a fence and nothing is supposed to ride on it. I say we get rid of the confusion and rename it as a 'CRS' (Composite Roadside Structure).

    But noooooooo. Now I'll be thinking of this on the road tomorrow, lose my concentration and wind up on the CRS. I hope you're happy........

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  • kadlec
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Guide Rail Or Guardrail

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Never heard the term guide rails, i think it is a mispronunced term for guard rails, like some people calling the refrigerator the fridge.

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  • 1 decade ago

    They guide you from not driving down the steep cliff.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    When you drive into them at a slow speed they guide your car along them, that's all I can think of.

    Maybe they think you're supposed to use them that way when you're too tired or drunk to drive.

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  • 1 decade ago

    They guide you away from the ravine.

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  • 1 decade ago

    you from going off the road

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  • Gio
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    its GUARD rails... they're idiots.

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