Guardrail and Barriers

Guardrail and Barriers

Guardrail

Roadway departure (RwD) crashes account for more than 50% 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, encourage members to utilize these services and educate the administration on roadway safety infrastructure.


Download the Guardrail Inspection Checklist.

Resources

ATSSA strongly opposes President Biden’s gas tax suspension proposal

Maria Robertson 0 1580 Article rating: 5.0

ATSSA President and CEO, Stacy Tetschner released the following statement today that strongly opposes President Joe Biden’s proposal for suspending federal and state gas taxes.

"Although we certainly support efforts to reduce the price per gallon of gasoline and diesel, suspending federal fuel taxes would set a dangerous precedent, financially undermine the recently-enacted bipartisan infrastructure law, impact state and local governments’ certainty of federal roadway safety funding, and imperil the ability to enact future multi-year transportation authorizations. It’s extremely unlikely that the suspension of federal fuel taxes will result in the American consumer actually seeing a commensurate reduction in the price they pay at the pump when filling up their vehicle.

Traffic fatalities rose an estimated 10.5% in 2021, reach 16-year high, NHTSA reports

Trend in fatality rate for vehicle miles traveled decreased for three quarters of 2021

Pam 0 4863 Article rating: 3.0

Traffic fatalities across the U.S. rose 10.5% in 2021 to a projected 42,915 deaths, reaching a 16-year high, according to statistics released today by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

That projected increase from 38,824 fatalities in 2020 is “the highest number of fatalities since 2005 and the largest annual percentage increase in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System’s history,” NHTSA announced today.

ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner expressed concern over the record-breaking fatality rate.

“ATSSA’s members have devoted their lives to roadway safety and providing the infrastructure and technology needed to save the lives of the motoring public as well as men and women working on our roadways,” Tetschner said. “This unprecedented increase in traffic fatalities brings home the importance of our work and the necessity of government and private industry partnering to provide safe thoroughfares. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which was enacted into law in November, provides historic levels of federal funding for roadway safety infrastructure projects. Departments of transportation around the country, including the U.S. Department of Transportation, must prioritize getting these funds to critical, lifesaving safety projects as soon as possible. We know that safer roads save lives. ATSSA members are ready to go to work with their agency partners to move toward zero deaths on all roads.”

AASHTO and FHWA release answers to help implement MASH

Pam 0 2731 Article rating: 5.0

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on Monday announced the release of  responses to three questions regarding testing of roadway safety hardware under the Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH), 2016.

The guidance is available online and includes all new and prior questions and answers dating to May 2018.

A joint AASHTO/FHWA technical working group developed the latest responses, which are created to help manufacturers, crash test laboratories and transportation agencies apply the guidelines to roadway safety devices.

FHWA hosts Nov. 22 webinar updating its Proven Safety Countermeasures

Register now for the free event highlighting two new pedestrian safety countermeasures

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The Federal Highway Administration is hosting a Nov. 22 webinar providing its “Proven Safety Countermeasures 2021 Update,” which will highlight two innovations that are part of the Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP) program.

Register now for this free event in which the Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon and Crosswalk Visibility Enhancements will be highlighted. Nine new countermeasures will be introduced during the webinar along with a briefing on new features in the program’s website and implementation resources.

VTTI seeks participants for survey on how connected and automated vehicles will interact with work zones

Pam 0 4412 Article rating: 2.0

Luke Neurauter, senior research associate in the Division of Vehicle, Driver and Safety Systems at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), is asking ATSSA members and others in the roadway safety industry to take part in a survey on the impact of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) on work zones.

The purpose is to “better understand how CAV technologies will behave when they encounter typical work zone scenarios and what can be done (from the perspectives of both the CAVs and work zone operations) to ensure ultimate compatibility between all available technologies,” according to information from VTTI Senior Research Associate Tammy Trimble.

The research is sponsored by the Transportation Research Board (TRB).

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