The mitigation of severe problems resulting from vehicle collisions with roadside objects has become one of the major research areas in automotive engineering. The literature review shows that few attempts in finite-element computer simulation of vehicle collision with roadside hardware have been conducted. However, limited research has been conducted to enhance the safety performance of traffic light poles when impacted by vehicles. The objective of this paper is to generate information that can be used to enhance energy absorption characteristics of transportation infrastructure involved in vehicle crash accidents. A finite-element computer model, using the available LS-DYNA software, was developed to simulate vehicle collision with a traffic light steel pole in frontal impact. Five configurations of steel pole supports were examined, including embedding the pole directly into the soil. Different types of soil conditions were examined to study their effects on vehicle occupant safety. The study of structural response focused on the energy absorption, acceleration, and deformation of the steel pole and the vehicle. It is demonstrated from numerical simulations that the steel pole embedded directly into the soil is proved to be strong enough to offer protection under service loading and to remain flexible enough to avoid influencing vehicle occupants, thus reducing fatalities and injuries resulting from vehicle impact.
|Number of pages
|Journal of Transportation Engineering
|Published - 1 Sept 2006