EXPERIMENTAL EVALUATION OF A PORTABLE ENERGY-ABSORBING SYSTEM FOR HIGHWAY SERVICE VEHICLES. ABRIDGMENT

A portable energy-absoring system that is attached to the rear of a standard 62.27-kN (14,000-lb) highway service vehicle has been designed and constructed. Four full-scale crash tests were conducted to evaluate the system with respect to structural adequacy, impact severity and vehicle trajectory. The performance of the system has been demon-strated. Three of these units are now being used on department of transportation maintenance operations in Connecticut to provide protection for both the motoring public and service personnel engaged in maintenance operations. It offers effective protection for the equipment used in these maintenance and repair projects. Of particular value is its implementation during the highway line-striping operations. In addition, the energy-absorbing system provides immediate temporary protection during short-term repair or clean-up operations, i.e., the repairing of a Fitch sand-filled barrel installation. It absorbs most of the energy dissipated in a high-speed collision between an automobile and the highway service vehicle; it absorbs this energy in such a way that the accelerations and acceleration rates to which the automobile and service vehicle are subjected are within the guidelines specified by the Federal Highway Administration. It is inexpensive to build. The total assembly can be constructed for less than $2000. This figure compares favorably with the $5500 cost of the hydro-cell unit that has been used during lane-striping operations in Connecticut. It is very inexpensive to repair. Under most crash conditions, all that is required is to insert new 0.6-m (2-ft) diameter pipes in the system. These pipes are bolted together and cost about $100 each. The aluminum impacting plate and the steel frame under the dump truck body will not usually require repairs. In the case of a low-speed collision, the steel pipes can be jacked back to their original shape and reused. There is no tendency for the impacting automobile to nose-dive under the energy-absorbing unit or catapult over the unit, and the system exhibits essentialy no rebound characteristics. In the event of an eccentric impact, the intrusion of the impacting automobile into the adjacent traffic lane is minimal. The 62.27-kN (14,000-lb) service vehicle can be expected to suffer no damage during the crash, and adjacent lane intrusion by the truck is not a problem. The same 62.27-kN (14,000-lb) service vehicle was used for all four crash tests and suffered no damage. It is compact and designed for use on curved and hilly roads. /Author/

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References;
  • Pagination: pp 16-18
  • Monograph Title: Roadside safety appurtenances
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00196614
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309028248
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-026 748
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Aug 28 1979 12:00AM