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The objective of this paper is to generate research information to enhance energy absorption characteristics in transportation infrastructures involved in vehicle crash accidents. A finite-element computer model, using the available LS-DYNA software, was developed to simulate crashes of a vehicle and a traffic light steel pole in frontal impact. The finite-element vehicle model was based on a 1991, 4-door, Ford Taurus. The steel pole was modeled using shell elements to capture the three-dimensional effect of the structure. Four configurations of steel pole supports were examined. The first support type was the typical steel base currently used over concrete foundation, with anchor bolts as specified by the Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code of 2000. The second support type was similar to the first one but with stressed springs between the nuts, over and under the steel base plate. In the third case, rubber-bearing pads were utilized between the base plate and the concrete foundation. In the fourth case, the steel pole was embedded into the soil with a certain embedding length (no concrete foundation is used). The structural response focused on energy absorption as well as the deformation of the steel pole. The fourth system of steel pole supports was proved to be strong enough to offer protection during minor impacts and under service loading, and to remain flexible enough to avoid influencing vehicle occupants, thus reducing fatalities and injuries resulting from the crash.

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