Vias institute conducts impact tests that meet the conditions of the EN 12767 standard dedicated to the passive safety of street furniture.

The severity of injuries caused to the occupants of a vehicle may depend on the performance of street furniture in the event of an impact. For safety reasons, these structures may be manufactured in such a way that they break or bend out of shape if they are struck by a vehicle.

In terms of safety, the European EN 12767 standard looks at three categories of street furniture in terms of safety: high, low or no energy absorption.

Street furniture that absorbs energy to a high degree slows the vehicle down. As a consequence, this reduces the risk of secondary accidents with structures, trees, pedestrians and other road-users.

No-energy street furniture enables the vehicle to continue moving with less of a reduction in speed. Compared with energy-absorbing street furniture, no-energy structures can reduce the risk of primary injuries.

Impact tests are carried out using a standard private car. The distortion and deceleration of the vehicle caused by the impact must be limited. If any parts of the structure tested become detached on impact, they must not be able to penetrate the passenger space.

The method applies to every type of street furniture. In practical terms, street lamps and sign support masts are the most common applications.

Both the energy absorption categories and the various levels of safety for vehicle occupants enable the local and national road authorities to specify the performance level of an item of street furniture in terms of the effects it has on a vehicle’s occupants in the event of impacting the structure.

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