The National Academies

NCHRP 22-57 [Anticipated]

Development of MASH Full-Scale Test Matrices for Additional Roadside Safety Devices

  Project Data
Source: AASHTO Committee on Design and Technical Committee on Roadside Safety
Funds: $500,000
Staff Responsibility: David M. Jared
Fiscal Year: 2023

This project has been tentatively selected and a project statement (request for proposals) is expected to be available on this website. The problem statement below will be the starting point for a panel of experts to develop the project statement.

The Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) has developed test matrices for various hardware based on an approach of “worst practical conditions.” This approach is based on selecting the worst or most critical conditions when defining a test matrix. Tests within a matrix need to evaluate different vehicle types, impact conditions, failure types and vary the evaluation criteria. A matrix also needs to allow multiple design alternatives for a roadside feature. Finally, test matrices must also be practical such that roadside features evaluated through the test matrix are cost effective and provide increased safety benefit without being a financial burden to end users.

While MASH has matrices for most roadside features, several devices lack a matrix, or the matrix needs clarity. There are no formal procedures to develop or evaluate a new matrix, nor are there procedures to evaluate or update an existing matrix. This lack of procedure makes it difficult for AASHTO’s Technical Committee on Roadside Safety (TCRS) to balance safety, cost, and practicality.

The objective of this research project is to develop potential methodologies and procedures to evaluate the (a) newly developed matrices; and (b) modification of test matrices. The developed methodologies and procedures would be applied to selected devices to develop or modify test matrices for them. Methodologies and procedures to evaluate new matrices and modify existing one could improve the effectiveness of roadside features, increase efficiency in developing and maintaining matrices, and provide a consistent and defendable roadside hardware evaluation process.

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