Barrel crash cushions
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Apparatus and methods are described relating to barrel crash cushions which readily collapse when impacted from a substantially end-on direction, and are more capable than conventional designs of substantially redirecting vehicles impacting from non-end-on directions and reducing the chance of these vehicles tearing through the crash cushion. The described configurations also substantially reduce the harm associated with "coffin corner" impacts through a structurally reinforced portion that increases the ability of the barrel cushion to withstand impacts from directions other than substantially end-on.In some exemplary embodiments, the structural reinforcement is provided by a telescoping bracket assembly which surrounds some of the barrels of the crash cushion. In another embodiment, the reinforcement is provided by a plurality of interconnected cable sleeves which are carried on cables disposed along the longitudinal sides of the crash cushion to form a linear brace. In still other embodiments, a cushion is constructed using barrels having differing resistances to crushing. The barrels having the greatest resistance are placed along the longitudinal sides close to the fixed structure so that a vehicle impacting the cushion proximate the fixed structure will have a lesser chance of penetrating the cushion or contacting the fixed structure. These barrels are also surrounded by reinforcing structures which help redirect impacting vehicles back into the stream of traffic.Also described is the use of a downstream base for the crash cushion which has chamfered or reduced upstream corners. The base is placed on the upstream side of the fixed structure if the fixed structure presents angular corners which might pose a coffin corner hazard to impacting vehicles. The base is preferably secured in place and includes preexisting cable anchor points.
Hirsch, Teddy J.; Ivey, Don L. (2000). Barrel crash cushions. United States. Patent and Trademark Office; Texas A&M University. Libraries. Available electronically from