Pole buffers and making roads safer

Energy absorbing crash cushion

According to the Road Safety Report 2020 on Australia, passenger car occupants made up 46% of road fatalities in 2019. Further, according to the Transport Accident Commission, in 2018 48% of drivers and passenger fatalities were the result of single vehicle crashes, which mostly involves accidents where a single vehicle crashes into a tree, pole, or other static object. Statistics like these call for action to be taken to stop the preventable loss of lives on the road and make driving safer, and this is where Pole Buffers can be a solution.

Made of a singular cell round tube that is slotted for controlled crumpling and, as a result, energy absorption, these pole buffers are designed to protect the occupants of vehicles involved with fixed object collisions. Rather than the car receiving the brunt of the collision, the pole buffer absorbs the energy of the crash that would otherwise be faced by the vehicle and passengers, often to serious injury and even fatality. This absorption means that those in the colliding vehicle are protected against the primary factor that causes injury; the force of the crash. Instead, the car is safely decelerated and the risk of injury and death is vastly reduced. 

(Shallow mounted Energy Absorbing Bollards)

The buffer is installed separately from the fixed object in a concrete foundation, to maintain strength and its position. The foundation, however, is placed within sand, increasing the energy absorbing properties of the buffer, with any shock the foundation may receive reverberating into the sand. 

Further than saving the lives of those involved in collisions, though, the pole buffer can also work as a form of asset protection, eliminating the force absorbed by the object that would have otherwise been collided. With property damage as a result of crashes costing billions of dollars each year, protecting assets from damage that may occur during collisions is an important quality. Indeed, at Australian Bollards, protection of key infrastructure and people are top priorities, and these can be observed in the purpose of these pole buffers. 

Energy absorbing pole buffer
(Pole/Tree Buffer)

The sizes and shapes of the pole buffers are tailored to each unique object they are to be installed on and the posted speed limits for adjacent roads. Classified as non-directive crash attenuators under AS/NZS 3845:1999 standard, these pole buffers can withstand a 1600kg vehicle impact at 60km/h. 

If a more integrated, intensive solution to asset protection is desired, then Energy Absorbing Crash Cushions may be the more appropriate solution. Working in much the same way as these pole buffers, these crash cushions are attached to and surround the fixed object in which it is protecting, protecting it from all angles. In addition to these pole buffers, our Crash Cushion Barriers are also available, a more extensive solution to saving lives. These work as energy absorbing barriers that work to reduce injury and death in the same manner as these pole buffers and can also be installed independently of a fixed object. A more lower cost, movable option is the Raptor Pole Protector; similar to the crash cushion, this protector also surrounds the fixed object it is attached to, but is made of polyethylene and is substantially larger in size. The best quality of this product is that it consists of two sections, and when one is damaged, the other is still usable. Further than energy absorbing buffers, we also offer a wide range of bollards, with an ideal option for protecting areas along roads being our Energy Absorbing Bollards.

Raptor pole protector

(Raptor Pole Protector)

Regardless of what combination of products are selected, our range of energy absorbing buffers are a low-maintenance, non-intensive solution to saving lives and protecting critical infrastructure. 

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