Computer-Based Vehicle Collision Simulation for Analyzing Cable Barrier Effectiveness on Traffic Injury Prevention

Cross-median crashes are typically violent collisions with a high probability of multiple serious injuries and deaths. Previous research has shown that cross-median crashes are responsible for a disproportionately high rate of fatalities. Median barriers, which will prevent a vehicle from crossing the median and having head-on collision with opposing traffic,by capturing or redirecting the errant vehicle during an accident, would effectively help preventing the severe acrossmedian crashes, as well as greatly reducing associated fatalities. Cable barrier systems, especially high-tension cable barrier systems are rapidly gaining popularity in median applications, which are typically less expensive to install than strong-post or rigid concrete barriers, and the flexible nature imparts lower decelerations to impacting vehicles and the occupants inside, and result in a lower impact severity and probability of injury. Due to the high cost of full-scale crash testing, computer simulation using advanced, nonlinear finite element analysis (FEA) codes would be a practical alternative to actual full-scale testing in evaluating performance of the barrier systems under vehicle crash. The purpose of the proposed research would be to obtain behavior as well as critical performance parameters of the cable barrier system under vehicle crash impact, so that that recommendations could be made to improve the overall performance of the system and enhance system safety features.