Bendable Lampposts For Less Dangerous Crashes

from the phew dept

Years ago, I was driving down a winding, snow covered hill, and as the road turned left and I turned the steering wheel left, the car kept going straight – right into a lamppost. I’ll admit, it wasn’t the most fun experience of my life – though, amazingly, I did no damage to myself or the car’s engine. The car’s body was a different story. But despite the front of the car wrapping itself around the lamppost, I eventually drove the now oddly shaped car home. I wasn’t going particularly fast when the accident occurred (it was a winding, snow covered hill, after all), so I can only imagine what happens to cars (and drivers) who hit lampposts at much higher speeds. Over in the UK, they’re trying to do something about that by putting up more flexible lampposts that will “bend” under a car when hit. They actually have two different kinds of bendable lampposts. In the city, the lamppost is designed to buckle – so that it moves, but doesn’t fall. In more rural settings (where it’s less likely pedestrians are around) the posts are designed to fall. Already, the posts have been involved in a few accidents – including one of a car driving at 90 miles per hour – and none have resulted in driver deaths. One other benefit is that the material used to make these posts is apparently recyclable, which I guess will be helpful when trying to decide what to do with the crumpled post after an accident.

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