Portable Energy Absorbing System for Highway Service Vehicles

by John F. Carney, III, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs, Conn.,
Richard J. Sazinski, (A.M.ASCE), Grad. Student; Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, Colo.,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1978, Vol. 104, Issue 4, Pg. 407-421

Document Type: Journal Paper


A portable energy absorbing system to be attached to the rear of a highway service vehicle has been designed, fabricated, and crash tested. The research goal was to develop a system to provide protection for both the motoring public and the service personnel engaged in maintenance operations on our highways. Its implementation during highway line striping operations, which are conducted on almost a daily basis, would be of particular value. The energy absorbing components of the system are four thick-walled steel pipes connected in series and cantilevered from the rear of the service vehicle. Full-scale crash tests were conducted to evaluate the performance of the system with respect to: (1)Structural adequacy; (2)impact severity; and (3)vehicle trajectory. The results of this testing program demonstrate that this energy absorbing system provides protection during a collision for both the errant motorist and the State Personnel working in the service vehicle.

Subject Headings: Traffic accidents | Highways and roads | Vehicles | Highway and road design | Protective structures | Steel pipes | Sustainable development | Fabrication

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