Pole and Vehicle Energy Absorption in Lateral Oblique Impacts with Rigid and Frangible Poles 2008-01-0170
Many vehicle-to-pole impacts occur when a vehicle leaves the roadway due to oversteer and loss of control in a lateral steering maneuver. Such a loss of control typically results in the vehicle having a significant component of lateral sliding motion as it crosses the road edge, so that impacts with objects off of the roadway often occur to the side of the vehicle. The response of the vehicle to this impact depends on the characteristics of the impacted object, the characteristics of the vehicle in the impacted zone, and the speed and orientation of the vehicle. In situations where the suspension or other stiff portions of a vehicle contacts a wooden pole, it is not uncommon for the pole to fracture. When this occurs, reconstruction of the accident is complicated by the need to evaluate both the energy absorbed by the vehicle as well as the energy absorbed by the pole. In addition, stiffness characteristics for the vehicle suspension and its mounts are not typically available since most side impact testing involves staged impacts between the vehicle wheels.