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Full-Scale Vehicle Crash Tests on Nebraska Rural Mailbox Designs




Ronald Faller, John Magdaleno, Bryon Warlick, William Wendling, Edward Post




The Nebraska Department of Roads, in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration, have developed a new mailbox support system which could be used to accommodate a wide range of mailbox sizes. To be considered a safe appurtenance, the system had to be subjected to full-scale crash tests, as provided by "Recommended Procedures for the Safety Performance Evaluation of Highway Appurtenances," National Cooperative Highway Research Program Report 230, Transportation Research Board, March, 1981. The major concern was to find whether the support system would keep the mailbox attached to the post, no allowing for detached elements to penetrate the passenger compartment. Four full-scale crash tests were conducted with an 1800-lb vehicle. Two tests, with the post embedded in weak soil, were performed at 20 mph and 60 mph, respectively. Two tests, with the post embedded in strong soil, were conducted at 20 mph and 60 mph, respectively. Three of the tests used a mailbox support system which held two mailboxes (size 1-A). One test used a system which supported one mailbox (size 2). After analyzing the results of the crash tests, it was evident that all of the performance criteria had been met. The major criteria evaluated were: change in velocity, maximum 0.010 sec average deceleration, whether the mailbox support system kept the mailbox attached to post, and whether the vehicle remained stable and upright during and after the stages of impact.


Highway Safety, Roadside Safety, Mailbox Support, Small Sign Support, Breakaway Support, Roadside Appurtenances, Crash Test, Compliance Test, NCHRP 230

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