Under the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH), an ISPE is a critical assessment of a roadside safety hardware system that provides a sound basis for determining its crash performance. The roadside safety hardware in use today consists of a blend of systems meeting various crash performance criteria. A single, comprehensive data collection methodology and associated guidelines will provide a ready-to-use mechanism for agencies to collect the ideal data for conducting ISPEs and provide data which can be readily combined across multiple states or agencies, ultimately resulting in a more meaningful, universal data set for ISPEs.
Research is needed to develop an improved, more consistent transportation agency data collection methodology that permits the data’s integration with information from external sources—for example, police crash reports—for ISPEs of roadside safety hardware. This methodology would enable first responders and responding DOT maintenance staff at a crash scene to collect needed data with respect to photographic information, hardware characteristics, and other pertinent features. Such a crash data collection methodology would also support state department of transportation (DOT) maintenance personnel by providing more consistent crash and roadside inventory data.
The objective of this research is to develop a transportation agency data collection methodology and associated guidelines to support ISPEs of roadside safety hardware meeting MASH, NCHRP Report 350: Recommended Procedures for the Safety Performance Evaluation of Highway Features, or other criteria. The research shall also produce (a) a recommended process for the interconnection of supporting datasets within this methodology, (b) a pilot study to test the data collection methodology between transportation agency operations and crash reporting, and (c) a plan for disseminating the methodology to state and local transportation agencies with the goal of a national evaluation of roadside safety hardware systems.
This research shall complement and coordinate with that underway in NCHRP Project 22-33, “Multi-State In-Service Performance Evaluations of Roadside Safety Hardware.”
Research is in progress on Phase II. The agency interim report is available upon request to NCHRP.