Crash Cushions

A crash cushion system like the one shown below installed on the highway may consist of a series of boxes containing sand or water, lined up and supported by a steel framework. During a crash, the boxes burst one by one, serving as a series of cushions to absorb the energy of collision. Explain how this may help in preventing serious damage to the vehicle.


43 thoughts on “Crash Cushions

  1. This is an example of an application of the impulse-momentum theorem. In a car crash, since the final momentum is zero, the average force is then equal to mv/t, where m = mass of the vehicle, v = initial velocity and t = duration of impact. From the equation, it can be observed that the force is inversely proportional to the duration of the impact.

    The sequential bursting of the boxes, acting as cushions are designed to increase the duration of the impact, and hence reduce the force of the collision.

  2. In the case of car cash, the velocity of the car Vi is very large and the weight w is also huge. The linear momentum of the car is p=mVi by definition which may raise serious safety concern to the driver and passengers.
    The crash cushion system is designed to stop the car to velocity of zero Vf=0. According to the impulse-momentum theorem, F∆t=∆p=mVf-mVi. In order to protect the car from extortion too much in the cash, we have to ensure the force exerted on the car is not significantly large to destroy the car. To reduce the impulse exerted on the car, we have to increase the duration of the collisions. To achieve this goal and prevent serious damage, the boxes are aligned in a line and placed next to each other. It guarantees the crash cushion system can slow down the car with consistent force exerted on the car.

  3. In a car crash, the crash cushion system would crumple. If it does not, the car would experience a dramatic change in direction of force. That would be fatal to a human body.

    By having an inelastic collision, we have a much smaller change in momentum compared to a elastic collision.

    By allowing an inelastic collision, we lengthen the amount of time in which the velocity of the car changes. This reduces impulse.

    These factors would reduce damage on the car and the force sustained by the driver and passengers.

  4. Pingback: Crash Barriers- Making Road Travel Safer for You | Baby Travel Systems

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  9. Hi! This article is about a crash cushion system like the one shown on the picture. It is installed on the highway may consist of a series of boxes containing sand or water. It is interesting to read about such unusual things)And can you recommend me, where I can find online essay writing help?

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  11. Wow! I can’t even imagine that crash cushions system is so complicated. It consist of several boxes with sand or water so they can keep your health and your car. It is really awesome information. By the way – can help you write the best posts.

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  13. Crash cushions are constructed of multiple segments, which crumple into each other when collided with to absorb the impact. Their main benefit is in their re usability; these attenuates can automatically return to their original position after a crash.

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