This study was undertaken to determine the extent of the utility pole accident problem in urban/suburban areas and to identify factors which affect the probability of their occurrence and their severity. Police reports for 1975 were obtained for over 8,000 single vehicle accident occuring in twenty urban/suburban areas throughout the United States; to supplement the police reported data, each accident site was visited and inventoried to record such data as utility pole spacing and offset, and relevant highway characteristics, etc. The results indicated that utility pole accidents are a significant problem in urban areas, in terms of both frequency and severity. Utility poles were the most frequent object struck, accounting for 21.1% of all objects struck. This figure, when combined with national figures, suggests that 2.2% of all urban accidents involve utility pole impacts. Apart from accident involving rollover, utility poles have th highest rate of injury involvement. By comparing utility pole accidents to a sample of other single vehicle accidents not involving pole contact, parameters which affect the probabilty of pole contact were identified; these included--in order of their relative importance--the number of poles in the immediate roadside environment their offset, road grade, road path, and speed limit. Injury severity in utility pole accidents appeared to be primarily a function of the stiffness of the struck pole and the impact speed. /Author/

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 165-180
  • Serial:
    • Volume: 2

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00190123
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Files: HSL, TRIS
  • Created Date: May 26 1979 12:00AM