Roadside Safety Device Analysis, Testing, and Evaluation Program

Roadway departure crashes are the most common type of crash in Texas. These crashes represent over 45% of all fatal crashes and 34% of all serious injury crashes. Texas data shows that there were 9,560 fatal and 30,766 serious injury roadway departure crashes from 2010-2016. This project will provide TxDOT with a mechanism to quickly and effectively evaluate high priority issues related to roadside safety devices. Roadside safety devices shield motorists from roadside hazards, such as non-traversable terrain and fixed objects, thereby reducing injuries and fatalities associated with roadway departure crashes. Texas data shows that striking a fixed object was the first harmful event in 57% of roadway departure fatal and serious injury crashes. To improve the safety of the motoring public, there is a need to develop new or improved safety devices that accommodate a variety of site conditions, placement locations, and a changing vehicle fleet. Since publication in 2009, Texas has used the AASHTO Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) for testing roadside safety hardware on the state highway system. It is more representative of the large class of light trucks, including sport utility vehicles (SUVs), on Texas roadways. A recent review of vehicle sales and registration data indicates that vehicles continue to increase in weight. The light truck segment of the vehicle fleet, which tends to be heavier and less stable than passenger cars, continues to grow. Higher posted speeds continue to become more prevalent across the state highway system; consequently, the demand placed on roadside safety devices will continue to increase. Advances are needed to keep pace with these changes and encompass a broader range of impacts that are occurring on Texas highways. In each fiscal year, roadside safety issues will be identified and prioritized by TxDOT. The selected issues will be evaluated and addressed through engineering analyses, computer simulation, dynamic impact testing, and full scale vehicular crash testing as appropriate. This research will support the roadside safety needs of the Bridge, Design, Maintenance, and Traffic Safety Divisions. Devices that will be studied and/or developed include guardrail, bridge rails, median barriers, transitions, terminals, attenuators, breakaway supports (sign supports, mailboxes), portable barriers, and work zone traffic control devices. The project will include full-scale vehicle crash testing.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $2307325
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Texas Department of Transportation

    125 E. 11th Street
    Austin, TX  United States  78701-2483
  • Managing Organizations:

    Texas Department of Transportation

    125 E. 11th Street
    Austin, TX  United States  78701-2483
  • Project Managers:

    Jensen, Darrin

  • Performing Organizations:

    Texas Transportation Institute

    Texas A&M University System
    3135 TAMU
    College Station, TX  United States  77843-3135
  • Principal Investigators:

    Bligh, Roger

  • Start Date: 20200901
  • Expected Completion Date: 20231031
  • Actual Completion Date: 20231031

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01766385
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Texas Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 0-7086
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Mar 2 2021 10:45AM