Now that rolls are hibernating until spring, it’s time to bring back some of the mid-week posts starting with a fun new buggy research project. Apex driver Rachael Schmitt (the same driver that built the wooden buggy B1R with CIA) will be analyzing buggy crashes from previous years and plans to conduct a few tests of her own.
Below is an except from an email that I got from her where she explains a bit more about what she’ll be doing and where she could use some help from the buggy community (i.e. you guys).
Buggy Alumni and Current Teams,
There’s been a lot of discussion on BAA recently about safety, crashes, the forces harness systems can take, and how to make buggy safer for drivers without losing the spirit that makes us love it.
I’ve excited to say that I’ve received a SURG grant to crash test a few of these rare but very dangerous crashes.
I would love, input, ideas, critique, and any willing help from the buggy community. We won’t be able to do statistically relevant testing for each buggy type and make, but we can get more information about how a general buggy and driver reacts in a specific bad crash.
Here is the general scope of the project, and to answer a few of your preliminary questions: The Transportation Research Center has generously donated the use of a crash test dummy and six accelerometers, to measure the metrics of the crash.
I’ve been given access to Emergency Medical Services records on all buggy crashes, to chart the combination of frequency, types of crash, and injuries, with input from lovely EMS personnel.
I have an old buggy (Bethany) that other mechanics and I will use part of my SURG grant to fix up to be strong and rollable. I hope to acquire other old buggies as well. Please let me know if you know of any gathering dust that want to go to a good cause!
We have the option, due to kind Roboclub and ECE members, to build a remote control steering, similar to robobuggy. This would allow us to gain speed from actually rolling the course. This option has a lot of uncontrollable variables, but would be fun.
The question in all that text is: What would you like to see from this testing? Please discuss in the comments.
Feel free to contact me with questions, concerns, input, offers of help, anything!
With everything that has been going on in the last few years, this seems like a great opportunity for the buggy community to grow as a whole and perpetuate the importance of safety in the sport.