This article describes some crash cushion systems, being developed by Energy Absorption Systems, and reports on a study of accident reduction by crash cushions in Portugal. The GREAT system is a crash cushion, designed to redirect an errant vehicle and prevent gating, pocketing and intruding. It leaves no solid debris on the roadway after head-on or side-angle impacts. It consists of crushable Hex-Foam II cartridges, made of paper and steel honeycomb material, surrounded by a framework of triple corrugated-steel guardrail. The Hex Foam Sandwich System is an impact attenuator, with similar functions to GREAT and specially designed to protect wide hazards, from 1m to 5m. The Energite System is an inertial sand barrier, configured to provide acceptable deceleration for errant cars. In 1991, crash cushions were first used on Portuguese roads; they saved at least one life within eight months of their installation. Brisa, Portugal's toll road authority, sponsored a study to determine when and where these systems should be installed. Today, Portuguese roads are being equipped with crash cushions, wherever their installation is justified.


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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00713410
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Nov 22 1995 12:00AM