A crash cushion or impact attenuator which is also known by several names like cowboy cushion or crash attenuator is a device that is intended for reducing the damage to the structures, motorists, and vehicles which results from the collision of a motor vehicle. These devices are designed for absorbing the kinetic energy of the colliding vehicle. They can also be designed for redirecting the vehicle away from the hazard or away from the roadway machinery and workers. The impact attenuators are placed usually in front of the fixed structures near highways like crash barrier introductions, gore points, or overpass supports. You can also find temporary versions that can be used for road construction projects.

How Crash Cushions Work

Under the wide group of crash barrier systems, crash cushions are distinguished from similar devices like water and sand-filled plastic barriers, gating, guardrails, and low maintenance attenuators. Crash cushions have been categorized by how they can reduce the kinetic energy, whether they transfer momentum to soft materials or substances, use crushable materials or convert kinetic energy to heat via a tube. Based on the regulations set by the local civic authorities, the classification of these devices is done.

A crash cushion consists of a compressor module that can absorb energy so that while impacting the vehicle gets redirected to the way objects bounce off the rubber. Sand-filled barrels are also used commonly for diminishing the kinetic energy from a collision. Other attenuators use hollow steel cylinders, lightweight crushable materials, high-density polyethylene cylinders or hex foam which is surrounded by aluminum sheeting, and other energy-absorbing solutions. At freeway splits, several accidents can occur due to the drivers trying to make last-second lane changes and crash pads are placed in those areas. Though they are designed for minimizing damage, it is still possible for motorists or motorcyclists to get injured or even get killed because of these collisions. Again, at the same time, it is also possible for surviving a crash into certain models at a speed of 70 mph.

Portable and Easy to Set up 

There are several benefits of crash cushions beyond driver and worker safety. Crash cushions can be portable or permanent. The portable versions don’t take much time to get set up as they are usually pre-assembled before arriving at the site of the hob. The quick setup time also allows the maintenance crew to minimize the time taken for installation and get the work done much faster for avoiding the risks of injury. It is common for one crew to install several attenuators at a time. When a vehicle struck a crash cushion, its parts would get crumpled into each other. The parts can be restored to their normal positions and the attenuator can be used again and again. It takes just around ten minutes of inspection to restore the system.

Highway Safety

Crash cushions can limit the damage which occurs on highways. They are mainly placed in front of gore points and near overpasses. Gore point being a part of a freeway exit is a point where a V-shape with landscaping in the middle is formed. Crash cushions have been designed in such a way that they can collapse into each other while absorbing the impact of a crash. The cushions conventionally maintain their normal appearance after the collision. But the cushions also need to be repaired or replaced by state officials. In gore points, drivers get distracted and this causes them to hit crash cushions. This can happen due to several reasons like providing more attention to dashboard controls, smartphones or become distracted while they are lost and checking for road signs.

There are various types of barrier systems available that can be used as crash cushions. They can comprise several attenuators which form a gate along the side of a highway. Dutco Tennant LLC supplies a wide range of Crash Cushion Barriers from the largest manufacturers of the world. If your project in the Middle East needs Crash Cushions then you can definitely get them from us.