To reduce the risk of serious or fatal injury to motorcyclists or cyclists impacting street furniture as a result of accidents, a UK SME has developed an impact energy absorbent crash cushion system. This system is easy to fit, maintenance free and low cost. Commercial agency and distribution services agreements are offered to companies working with local authorities, public procurement organisations and street furniture manufacturers.
While passively safe (breakaway) signposts, lighting columns and signal poles are increasingly and successfully being deployed to prevent serious and fatal injuries to motor car users, they provide absolutely no benefits to the most vulnerable road users, motorcyclists and cyclists. In one recent five year period in the UK alone there were 250 motorcyclist fatalities and 880 serious injuries in collisions with such roadside objects. In response to this situation, an East of England SME has developed an innovative new safety product. This mini crash cushion, specifically designed to attach to posts of any description and size, is low cost, maintenance free and easy to fit. As such it offers a retrofit solution to local authorities and other organisations responsible for “street furniture” such as road signs, street lights and traffic lights. The inherent technology is also something that manufacturers and suppliers of “street furniture” might wish to incorporate into their products in order to enhance their safety credentials. Tests have been conducted in the UK by the British Standards Institute (BSI) and, although there is no relevant official standard, the tests have confirmed that these products deliver the protection required to dramatically reduce the fatality and injury statistics quoted above. Static crush tests and dynamic impact tests used to predict the energy absorbing capacity of a modular unit found that it was capable of absorbing around 6,000J of energy, equivalent to 100% absorption of a 75kg person travelling at 45 km/hour. Partners who are already working with local authorities or with suppliers of “street furniture” are sought. Commercial agency agreements are offered for companies able to represent the SME and its technology solutions to such organisations. Distribution services agreements are offered to companies supplying such organisations, enabling them to add a significant safety enhancing range of products to their portfolio.
Innovations and advantages
• High energy absorption ensuring motor cyclists’ and cyclists’ protection from serious and fatal injuries should they impact street furniture items as a result of road traffic accidents. • Maintenance free affording long term protection. • Easy to fit offering a retrofit solution for existing street furniture.
Current stage of development
The products have been available in the UK for the last year or so and limited distribution has been established in some other European countries. The SME is now seeking further business growth across Europe.
02007005 Composite materials
02008005 Road Transport
Market application codes
08005 Other Industrial Products (not elsewhere classified)
09003001 Engineering services
Intellectual property rights
Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted
Comments, number and date of patent
Patent applications were lodged in 2014.
Area of partner's activity
Companies engaged with local authorities, public sector procurement organisations or with manufacturers of “street furniture” products. Commercial agency agreements are offered to partners able to represent the UK SME and its crash cushion system to those organisations. Distribution services agreements are offered to partners selling street furniture related products to public sector authorities and procurement organisations.