AN ENERGY - ABSORBING BARRIER FOR HIGHWAYS

IN RECENT YEARS THE UNPRECEDENTED INCREASE IN TRAFFIC VOLUME AND SPEED COMPOUNDED THE PROBLEM OF DEATH ON THE HIGHWAYS. ONE OF THE MOST SEVERE CONTRIBUTORS IS THE HEAD-ON COLLISION CAUSED BY AN OUT-OF-CONTROL AUTOMOBILE CROSSING THE CENTERLINE OF A HIGHWAY. AN ENERGY-ABSORBING BARRIER SYSTEM TO ELIMINATE THIS HAZARD HAS BEEN DEVELOPED. THE BARRIER CONSISTS OF A SERIES OF CORRUGATED CONCRETE SLABS EXTENDING ABOVE A ROAD SURFACE ABOUT 2 FT AND ARRANGED IN A ROW IN THE CENTER OF THE MEDIAN STRIP OF A HIGHWAY. AN AUTOMOBILE OR TRUCK, OUT-OF-CONTROL AND COMMENCING TO CROSS THE LANE OF THE ONCOMING TRAFFIC, WILL BREAK OFF A NUMBER OF THESE CONCRETE BARRIERS AND STOP, INSTEAD OF CAUSING A HEAD- ON COLLISION. EVALUATION OF THIS CONCEPT OF AUTOMOTIVE PROTECTION WAS MADE BY BOTH LABORATORY TECHNIQUES ( STATIC ) AND FIELD EXPERIMENTS ( DYNAMIC ). THE LABORATORY TESTS PROVIDED THE BASIS FOR THE APPROPRIATE SELECTION OF CONFIGURATION AND MATERIALS WHICH PROVIDED THE HIGHEST BARRIER PERFORMANCE. THE FIELD TESTS PERMITTED EVALUATION OF THE DYNAMIC PERFORMANCE OF A ROW OF THESE BARRIERS. IN THESE EXPERIMENTS, A CAR WAS DRIVEN THROUGH A SERIES OF THE BARRIERS AT 17 AND 31 MPH. DECELERATION RATES WERE DETERMINED BY MICROMOTION ANALYSES OF HIGH-SPEED MOTION PICTURES USED FOR INSTRUMENTATION. A 16 - MM FILM HAS BEEN PRODUCED COVERING THESE EXPERIMENTS. THE FEASIBILITY OF THE CONCEPT OF PROVIDING A COLLAPSIBLE BARRIER TO GOVERN THE DECELERATION OF OUT-OF-CONTROL VEHICLES TO PREVENT INJURY TO THE VEHICLE OCCUPANTS HAS BEEN DEMONSTRATED BY THESE EXPERIMENTS. /AUTHOR/

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00220285
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Sep 16 1994 12:00AM