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How do energy absorbing bollards work?

How do energy absorbing bollards work?
Roadside Services
Roadside Services
March 18, 2020
minute read

Energy Absorbing Bollards (EABs) can protect pedestrians and property

Governments, councils, and businesses are always looking for new ways to minimise the damage caused by car crashes. Cars are an important part of modern life, but having big, heavy metal objects speeding through our public spaces certainly does present its fair share of risks.

One solution is the EAB — the Energy Absorbing Bollard. These impact absorbing bollards are a great way to protect pedestrians, vehicles, drivers, and assets (like shopfronts and public art) from cars. To help you get informed about this proactive safety measure, we've assembled the following guide to Energy Absorbing Bollards. We will explain:

  • What they are
  • How they work
  • Where they have been successfully used in the past
  • Where you should have them installed
  • How Roadside can help

Roadside is your one stop shop for EABs. Since beginning with a small team in 2009, we've grown to employ more than a hundred dedicated professionals who are helping people all around Australia. All of our work is compliant with Australian standards and industry best practices. Find out how we can use EABs to provide you with a safety solution.

What are EABs?

In a sense, every bollard is energy absorbing. They're objects, they have mass, and are going to absorb at least some kinetic energy in a collision. What really sets the EAB above the rest, however, is that they're designed to absorb far more energy than your average pole in the ground.

Our Roadside EABs have been tested under strict conditions. They can successfully stop a vehicle of 1600 kg (300 kg more than the average car) that is travelling at speeds of up to 60 km/h.

How do Energy Absorbing Bollards work?

The Energy Absorbing Bollard works by meeting the approaching vehicle at an angle. In a collision, the car rises off the ground. This has two benefits:

  • It deflects kinetic energy
  • It protects passengers in the vehicle by pushing them back into their seat.

In addition to protecting pedestrians behind the bollard, the risk of harm to passengers is also significantly reduced.

Where is it suitable to install an EAB?

The EAB isn't suitable for all environments — in some areas, terminal safety bollards are more appropriate — but the EAB is perfect in many situations in which protection is required. For example:

  • Outdoor dining areas
  • Public spaces
  • Areas frequented by pedestrians
  • Near assets that might be prone to vehicular damage

What is the process for installing EABs?

At Roadside, we have a straightforward process for planning and installing an EAB system:

1) Consultation: Talk to us about your situation, so that we can develop a better understanding of your requirements.

2) Quote: We will use the information from our consultation to generate a quote, and undertake a free site survey if that is required.

3) Planning: We will schedule a time that works for you, and figure out a timeline for the project.

4) Installation and completion: We will finish the job, on time and to your specifications.

Where have you installed EABs before?

One example of where our EABs are protecting a public space is in Adelaide's Rundle Mall. The mall is one of the busiest areas for pedestrians in the country — it is the centre of retail shopping in Adelaide, and tens of thousands of people walk through it every day.

It also sits in the middle of some of Adelaide's busiest roads (King William Street, North Terrace, Hindley Street, Rundle Street, Pultney Street and Grenfell Street). Surrounded by lots of busy traffic, the pedestrians of Rundle Mall were potentially vulnerable to errant vehicles.

Within just fifteen days, we installed 26 EABs on both ends of Rundle Mall. That included six retractable EABs, so that service vehicles (deliveries, street sweepers, and so on) were still able to go about their business. Over the next three months, we put another 28 EBs in place, protecting pedestrians and businesses on Rundle Mall from vehicles entering via the side streets.

You can read all about the Rundle Mall project in our case study.

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