The Midwest Roadside Safety Facility hosted a fall open house on Friday, Sept. 9, showcasing research and development as well as employment opportunities available at the organization. Beginning with an afternoon reception at the Prem S. Paul Research Center at Whittier School, guests were also treated to a live, full-scale crash test of a motor vehicle into a bridge protection system at the Outdoor Proving Grounds, which is located on the western edge of the Lincoln Municipal Airport.
The crash-test highlighted the facility’s ongoing research, including a prototype used to span gaps between portable concrete barriers to better absorb traffic accidents. Through multiple tests this past summer, engineers took a 5,000-pound pickup and crashed it into critical areas of the gap-covered barrier. Despite the violent collisions each time, the prototype not only helped the barrier maintain structural integrity, it also protected a hypothetical driver and safely redirected the pickupt post impact.
The several guests in attendance to witness the crash test also met with researchers to learn more about the facility and its growing research portfolio.