How Crash Cushions Make Our Roads Safer

The systems are called impact attenuators for a good reason.

Crash Cushions are systems that make our roads safer by protecting vehicles from damage when collisions occur. What they do when effective is absorb kinetic energy and redirect the colliding vehicle away from danger. That's why they are also called impact attenuators. There are plenty of types of crash cushions each with different advantages and features.

For instance, the QuadGuard® M10 consists of an engineered steel nose and crushable, energy-absorbing cartridges surrounded by a framework of steel panels. It can be used to shield hazards 24” to 96” (61 cm to 2.43 m) wide.

In our video, you can watch it in action along with other crash cushions. It's impressive to see how time and time again the cars that hit against the systems are redirected back to the road with minimal damage. Even at fast speeds, the damage to the car is not too severe.

Advertisement

What are these almost magical systems that can protect cars on the roads? How do they work and how expensive are they to develop? What do they look like in action and how much damage do they accumulate with each hit? We explore these questions and more with our video dedicated to crash cushions. 

Follow Us on

Stay on top of the latest engineering news

Just enter your email and we’ll take care of the rest:

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe at any time.