Guidelines for Crash Testing Roadside Safety Hardware for Motorcycles

Motorcycle crashes with roadside hardware are a challenging issue for state departments of transportation (DOTs). According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2021 the fatality rate for motorcyclists was almost 24 times the fatality rate for passenger car occupants. In the same year, 24 percent of motorcycles involved in fatal crashes collided with fixed objects. Overall, collisions with fixed objects in the roadside environment (including trees, sign supports, lamp posts, and barriers) represent much higher risk of fatality and incapacitating injury for motorcyclists than for passenger car occupants. Among types of roadside hardware, crashes with longitudinal barriers are a significant issue for motorcyclists; in 2017 motorcyclists accounted for 40 percent of guardrail related fatalities. Historically, roadside safety systems such as guardrail and concrete barriers have been designed to redirect errant passenger vehicles and generally have not taken into consideration potential impacts by vulnerable users such as motorcycle riders. International crash testing standards, such as the European CEN/TS 17342:2019 Road Restraint Systems, include consideration of motorcyclists in barrier design. In addition, several DOTs have taken independent action toward incorporating motorcyclist safety into their barrier system(s). However, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) does not currently contain protocols for testing roadside barriers for motorcyclist impacts. Research is needed to develop national guidelines with procedures for motorcycle testing and evaluation of roadside hardware with an emphasis on longitudinal barriers. The objective of this research is to develop guidelines with procedures for crash testing roadside safety hardware for motorcycles with an emphasis on longitudinal barriers.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $500000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 22-60

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Turner, Anne-Marie

  • Start Date: 20240404
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01888643
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 22-60
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Jul 25 2023 8:46AM