Crashing Cars into Poles - Live demos to show fatal and safe ways to do it
Four live crash demonstrations have been carefully choreographed by Traffex Seeing is Believing to show, for the first time in public, the effects of crashing into a traditional, rigid lamp post at high speed versus the same crash into a “passive” lamp post, as well as a low speed urban crash into a lightweight aluminium sign post.
According to the Road Safety Foundation, the largest single cause of death on the UK’s EuroRAP network is run-off road crashes (30%). Unprotected or rigid roadside furniture can have fatal results following a simple driver error. Passive poles are designed to absorb the impact of the vehicle or to fold with minimal damage to the car’s occupants.
The Four Demos:
27 June - 15:30
Slow speed 20mph small car, head-on impact into a passive safe standard 4m sign post
Reason for Demo: There is a lack of understanding in the industry of the way aluminium poles perform when impacted at slow speeds in an urban environment. This should help inform the industry and dispel any myths surrounding the use of passive safe structures in built-up areas. Although slow speed tests for certification are mandatory, this demonstration has never been performed in public before.
Expectation: Pole will stop the vehicle, replicating slow speed impact in an urban environment.
High speed 60mph small car, head-on impact into a passive safe 12m hinged lamp post
Reason for Demo: To show that hinged columns can be passive safe - For maintenance crews to avoid working at height and for local road users.
Expectation: Column will shear at the base allowing the car to continue without a significant reduction in speed and more importantly very little intrusion into the cabin of the vehicle.
28 June - 14:30
High speed 60mph with small car, head-on impact into a 10m steel lighting column installed with standard, planted root section
Expectation: The vehicle will come to an immediate halt resulting in significant damage / intrusion into the cabin with the probability that any occupants would have experienced serious injury or death.
High speed 60mph with small car, head-on impact into a passive safe 10m lighting column installed with standard, planted root section
Reason for Demo: To demonstrate the level of intrusion and subsequent death / serious injury that can result from impacting a steel column as opposed to the significantly reduced risk resulting from impacting into a passive column.
Expectation: Column will begin to fold upon impact before shearing at the base allowing the car to continue without a significant reduction in speed and more importantly very little intrusion into the cabin of the vehicle.
Commenting on the demonstrations, Adrian Tatum, Events Producer & Head of Content at Transport Network says: “Traffex Seeing Is Believing is ideal for live events such as this. Most exhibitions can only show videos, which can never get across the hands-on information. Following the demonstrations, visitors are invited to see for themselves the effects of each impact and the performance in each scenario. Even the run-up to the crash is dramatic: the crash car is remotely controlled and guided by a police-style ‘TPAC’ or Tactical Pursuit and Containment manoeuvre.
This is a great opportunity to bring together local authorities, emergency service personnel, engineers, contractors and manufacturing companies to update their professional knowledge in the effectiveness of key road safety products. Technology and innovation is driving significant change which will help government bodies who maintain the UK’s road network – all of which can be seen through live demonstrations at Traffex Seeing is Believing.”
Ian McDonald, National Sales Manager at Pole Products, a division of Hydro Extruded Solutions says: “’Crash-friendly’ products can be seen throughout our road network, but so too are products that, in the event of an accident, could be deadly. This kind of demo is vitally important in showing the difference. With growing traffic numbers, it is critical that those who maintain and use our roads are kept safe.”
Adrian Tatum, Group Content Editor, 01935 374 013
Becky Hadley, Hadstrong, 020 7808 7997