DISCUSSION: Pole Impacts

The reconstruction and/or simulation of vehicle impacts into poles/trees pose a different problem than normal car-to-car collisions. First, the object being struck is a narrow width, non-deforming object. All kinetic energy dissipated during the collision is absorbed by the vehicle structure (unless the pole or tree fractures). Also, an important aspect of a vehicle collision with a pole/tree is the location of the pole/tree on the vehicle periphery. The pole/tree is a narrow object. The location of the tree/pole on the vehicle at impact determines the characteristics of the crush resistance force of the vehicle (i.e., is the impact location on the vehicle a hard or soft area of the vehicle structure?). Another consideration is if the pole/tree is offset from the center of gravity of the vehicle at impact, then the vehicle has an additional degree-of-freedom to rotate in response to the collision with the pole/tree in addition to crushing the vehicle structure. This can sometimes complicate the analysis of pole/tree impacts.

The following are some frontal and side pole impact tests and the corresponding calculations of K stiffness values.

On the next two pages are tables of all the Pole Impact crash tests contained in the NHTSA crash test database. You can obtain more detailed information on the cited tests by accessing the NHTSA Crash Test database (m-edit Tools Menu Database) and selecting the crash test by Test Number.

We will be adding a more complete writeup on interpretation and reconstruction of pole impacts in the near future.

Figure 11 Summary of some side impacts against rigid pole tests

Table 1 Pole Impact Tests in the NHTSA Crash Test Database

Test#

Make

Model

Year

Body

Wgt

Velocity

Angle

Offset

L

Crush

D

4433

Chevy

C10 PU

1986

PU

4433

20

270

15.8

12

16.9

15.8

2185

Chevy

Caprice

1992

4dr

4202

5.2

0

0

6.1

0.5

0

2186

Chevy

Caprice

1992

4dr

4202

9.9

0

0

11.6

13.9

0

2187

Chevy

Caprice

1992

4dr

4202

10.1

0

0

15.8

20

0

2188

Chevy

Caprice

1992

4dr

4202

19.8

0

0

22.2

28.8

0

2189

Chevy

Caprice

1992

4dr

4202

35

0

0

28.4

42.5

0

862

Chevy

Impala

1983

4dr

4310

29.8

0

0

70.4

28.3

0

698

Chevy

Vega

1973

3dr

2558

19.6

0

61

22

11.5

709

Chevy

Vega

1973

3dr

2658

20.1

0

61

21

0

518

Chevy

Vega

1974

3dr

2805

20

0

2.8

8

16

2.8

867

Dodge

Colt

1979

3dr

1962

30.1

270

-19.5

8

17.3

0

909

Dodge

Colt

1979

2dr

1800

24.6

0

0

53

23

0

1106

Dodge

Colt

1980

3dr

2010

28.6

270

-8

104.1

26

-16

473

Dodge

Colt

1981

3dr

2265

20

0

9.7

62.4

17

9.7

473

Dodge

Colt

1981

3dr

2265

20

9.7

62.4

17

9.7

1107

Dodge

Colt

1981

3dr

2010

30.5

270

-8

63

9.5

-16

1225

Dodge

Colt

1981

3dr

2010

28.9

270

n/a

47.5

7.5

-9.8

680

Dodge

Diplomat

1981

4dr

4271

29.9

0

14

29.3

n/a

846

Dodge

Omni

1983

5dr

2888

29.8

0

0

19.5

30.2

0

876

Dodge

Omni

1983

5dr

2788

30

0

9.5

66.6

26.3

-9.5

910

Dodge

St. Regis

1979

2dr

4500

31.8

270

-14.1

8

8.5

0

911

Dodge

St. Regis

1979

2dr

1800

10.3

0

0

92.6

12

0

2114

Ford

F150 PU

1986

PU

4136

20.3

270

18.8

12

23.5

18.8

761

Ford

LTD

1980

4dr

4260

29.9

0

48

32.5

0

666

Ford

LTD

1982

4dr

4356

30.1

0

12

31.4

n/a

2170

Ford

Taurus

1987

4dr

3569

4.9

0

9

2.2

0

2171

Ford

Taurus

1987

4dr

3569

9.9

0

18.6

14.7

0

2172

Ford

Taurus

1987

4dr

3569

9.9

0

19.4

18.2

0

2173

Ford

Taurus

1987

4dr

3569

19.9

0

19.2

26

0

2174

Ford

Taurus

1987

4dr

3569

34.9

0

18.5

42.3

0

819

Honda

Accord

1984

4dr

2939

30

0

12

31.2

0

873

Honda

Accord

1984

4dr

2824

30

0

9.5

61.9

29.6

-9.5

857

Honda

Civic

1979

3dr

1964

29.2

270

-15.3

8

10.5

0

907

Honda

Civic

1979

2dr

1806

25.7

0

0

68.1

19

0

449

Honda

Civic

1981

3dr

2095

20

0

8

23

15

8

700

Honda

Civic

1981

3dr

2090

19.9

0

59.9

15

-4.5

1648

Hyundai

Excel GLS

1987

4dr

2172

9.5

10.5

11.2

0

1649

Hyundai

Excel GLS

1987

4dr

2172

9.6

12

12.8

0

1650

Hyundai

Excel GLS

1987

4dr

2172

14.6

12

17.5

0

1651

Hyundai

Excel GLS

1987

4dr

2172

29.6

13.9

29.4

0

Table 2 Pole Impact Tests in the NHTSA Crash Test Database (cont.)

Test#

Make

Model

Year

Body

Wgt

Velocity

Angle

Offset

L

Crush

D

1841

Nissan

Sentra

1985

4dr

2297

9.7

0

0

12

13.2

0

1842

Nissan

Sentra

1985

4dr

2297

9.8

0

0

12

15.4

0

1843

Nissan

Sentra

1985

4dr

2297

14.7

0

0

12

19.3

0

1844

Nissan

Sentra

1985

4dr

2297

19.9

0

0

12

24

0

1845

Nissan

Sentra

1985

4dr

2297

35

0

12

40.3

0

825

Other

3dr

1700

20.1

0

53

12.8

-4

1105

Plymouth

Champ

1980

3dr

2010

29.4

270

-8

75.1

10

-22.5

1108

Plymouth

Champ

1981

3dr

2010

29.7

270

-8

60

10

-18

1109

Plymouth

Champ

1981

3dr

2010

29.5

270

-8

94.1

13

-23

1224

Plymouth

Champ

1981

3dr

2010

29.3

270

n/a

157.1

36

-18.5

1226

Plymouth

Champ

1981

3dr

2010

29.6

270

n/a

64

7.5

-19

847

Renault

Fuego

1983

3dr

3024

29.9

0

0

31.7

25

0

872

Renault

Fuego

1983

3dr

2942

30

0

9.5

51.5

26.1

-9.5

2266

Toyota

Corolla

1993

4dr

2449

24.2

90

-43.3

84.1

-16

44

432

VW

Rabbit

1976

2dr

2140

61.6

0

-14.3

44

18.5

441

VW

Rabbit

1976

2dr

2126

19

0

-12.3

48

15.1

0

442

VW

Rabbit

1976

2dr

2013

30.4

270

-15.5

77.1

11.5

n/a

469

VW

Rabbit

1976

2dr

1954

30

45

14

88.1

7.6

12

768

VW

Rabbit

1977

3dr

2615

25

315

n/a

32

17.3

-3

858

VW

Rabbit

1979

3dr

1990

28.4

270

-18.8

8

11.1

0

908

VW

Rabbit

1979

2dr

1835

24.7

0

0

55

22

0

476

VW

Rabbit

1981

5dr

2509

20

0

-14.2

55

17

14.2

476

VW

Rabbit

1981

5dr

2509

20

0

-14.2

55.5

17

14.2

662

VW

Rabbit

1981

5dr

2178

20.2

0

-12.5

56.7

16

13

749

VW

Rabbit

1981

3dr

2590

20.1

315

32

23.2

4.5

755

VW

Rabbit

1981

3dr

2580

19.9

315

42

18.5

61.4

762

VW

Rabbit

1981

3dr

2600

25

315

31

19.3

6.5


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