Guardrail and Barriers

Guardrail and Barriers

 

Guardrail

Roadway departure (RwD) crashes account for more than 50 percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities. There are a number of reasons a driver may leave the travel lane (e.g., an avoidance maneuver, inattention or fatigue, or traveling too fast for weather or geometric conditions). Over the past few decades, different engineering countermeasures have been proposed, implemented, and tested by various state and local agencies to mitigate RwD crashes. Improving median or roadside barrier design is one of the most effective countermeasures available to reduce RwD fatal crashes.

 

These devices suffered damage to their reputation as life savers because of some isolated unfortunate incidents, however the safety benefits beyond any doubt have been proven by numerous research studies. At this juncture, the life-saving qualities of roadside guardrails and median barriers need to be underscored.

 

ATSSA has a committee dedicated to the advancement of guardrails. The association’s Guardrail Committee (member login required) works to preserve funding through the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), a federal program which dedicates funds to infrastructure safety, promote a fully funded Highway Trust Fund (HTF) and other funding opportunities, work with ATSSA chapters and members to develop and deliver government relations services at the state level, and encourage members to utilize these services, and educate the administration on roadway safety infrastructure.

Resources

FHWA Open Letter to Highway Safety and Roadside Community

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The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is improving its process for issuing Federal-aid eligibility letters for roadside safety hardware systems. The FHWA's Federal-aid eligibility letters are provided as a service to the States and are not a requirement for roadside safety hardware to be eligible for Federal-aid reimbursement. 

NCHRP 20-07 (383) Presentation

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The National Cooperative Highway Research Board provided a review and update of the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officals' "Roadside Design Guide."

FHWA Potential New Methods for Review and Assessment

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The FHWA is exploring several potential options for reviewing, evaluting, and accepting the results of crash testing of roadside safety hardware that is intended to be used on the National Highway System (NHS). The options are for discussion only.

FHWA Memo - Evaluating a State DOT's Process, Crashworthiness

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The FHWA issued a memo in April 2018 to provide guidance to the FHWA Division Offices to assist in their evaluation that a state DOT has an acceptable process for determining the crashworthiness of roadside safety hardwareused on the National Highway System (NHS).

ATSSA Guardrail Committee

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ATSSA has a committee dedicated to the advancement of guardrails. The association’s Guardrail Committee works to preserve funding through the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), a federal program which dedicates funds to infrastructure safety, promote a fully funded Highway Trust Fund (HTF) and other funding opportunities, work with ATSSA chapters and members to develop and deliver government relations services at the state level and encourage members to utilize these services, and educate the administration on roadway safety infrastructure.

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