Truck Mounted Impact Attenuators Used in Virginia

Report No: 84-R33

Published in 1984

About the report:

The dense, high speed traffic on some of Virginia's highways necessitates taking the extreme measure of protecting the Department's maintenance personnel by placing a blocking truck in a lane that has been closed for repairs. To protect anyone who might crash into the blocking truck, an impact attenuator (TMA) can be attached to the back of the truck. The purpose of the study reported here was to gain experience in the construction and use of the Connecticut type attenuator and to assess its acceptance by field personnel. For this study, six Connecticut type units were built in three districts. Additionally, at least 2 units were in service in the Richmond District, one of them on the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike. An analysis of the information obtained from personnel who use the TMA's revealed that their view of its use was influenced most by the following: 1. the extent to which they understood its purpose; 2. the degree to which they perceived it to protect them on the job; 3. the attitude of their supervisors towards its use, and; 4. the extent to which they believed its use to make operations with the truck difficult and to conflict with the Department's policy on "utilization percent" for trucks. It is recommended that the Department develop a policy on the use of TMA's and guidelines for their use. Also, it is recommended that crews who use the TMA's should be given appropriate training.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • David F. Noble

Last updated: January 17, 2024

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