Centre for Road Safety

Wire rope barrier

On an outdoor test track, we see the view looking down a long, straight section of a wire rope barrier. Shown in slow motion, a Commodore test sedan approaches from the left.

The car travels in a straight line at 100 kilometres per hour, hitting the barrier at a 45 degree angle.

As the front of the car travels through the barrier, the front right bumper is crushed by the wire ropes.

As the car’s momentum forces it further through the barrier, the driver’s side rear vision mirror is broken off by the wire ropes.

As the tension on the wire ropes increases, bits of plastic and glass from the car, and the caps of the barrier posts fly into the air and land on the ground.

Although the car drifts across the barrier by almost the full width of its body, such that the left hand side of the car almost crosses the barrier, the tension on the wire ropes restrains the car and gradually forces it back to the left hand side of the barrier.

Back to Road safety barriers.

Steel W-beam barrier

On an outdoor test track, we see the view looking down a long, straight section of a steel W-beam barrier. Shown in slow motion, a Commodore test sedan approaches from the left.

The car travels in a straight line at 100 kilometres per hour, hitting the barrier at a 45 degree angle.

The front of the car is crushed as it hits the barrier. The impact sends plastic and glass from the car and bits of steel from the barrier flying into the air.

Although the steel barrier is bent and damaged, it prevents the car from passing through. The car is deflected away from the barrier with the force of the impact lifting the back wheels off the road.

As the car travels away from the barrier, we see the bent steel poles left by the crash, as well as the car’s front plastic bumper and other debris at the impact area.

Back to Road safety barriers.

Concrete barriers

On an outdoor test track, we see the view looking down a long, straight section of a concrete barrier. Shown in slow motion, a Commodore test sedan approaches from the left.

The car travels in a straight line at 100 kilometres per hour, hitting the barrier at a 45 degree angle.

As the front right corner of the car hits the barrier, it is completely crushed and the impact forces the car’s bonnet open. The driver’s door is jolted open and the head of a crash test dummy in the driver’s seat smashes into the driver’s side window. Glass and debris fly through the air.

The right hand side of the car spins into the concrete barrier, which stands firm and deflects the vehicle away from the barrier.

The impact forces the car to become airborne, lifting all four wheels off the track before it lands heavily on the ground and rolls away from the barrier. Plastic glass and debris from the car fly through the air.

Back to Road safety barriers.