The National Academies

NCHRP 22-58 [Pending]

National In-Service Performance Evaluation Guidelines for Defining Acceptable Roadside Safety Hardware

  Project Data
Funds: $400,000
Contract Time: 36 months
Staff Responsibility: Anne-Marie Turner
Comments: Contract pending.


A recurring theme in tests conducted and evaluation procedures formulated over the last 40 years has been the recommendation to conduct in-service performance evaluations (ISPEs) of roadside safety features.

The laboratory performance of roadside safety hardware is tested and evaluated using criteria published in the AASHTO Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH). The site location and installation of roadside safety hardware are guided by criteria published in the AASHTO Roadside Design Guide (RDG). ISPE criteria have become available under NCHRP Research Report 1010: In-Service Performance Evaluation: Guidelines for the Assembly and Analysis of Data

Research is needed to develop guidelines, at the national level, for defining acceptable field performance of roadside safety hardware.


The objective of this research is to develop ISPE guidelines to define and recommend nationally acceptable field performance criteria for roadside safety hardware based on NCHRP Research Report 1010.

The accomplishment of the project objective will require at least the following tasks.


PHASE I—Preliminary Evaluation

Task 1. Conduct an in-depth review and critical evaluation of the following reports:

·    NCHRP Research Report 1010;


·    "NCHRP Project 22-44: A Transportation Agency Data Collection Practice for Use with In-Service Performance Evaluations" Interim Report and Draft Guide for the collection, extraction, and documentation of ISPEs (contact Senior Program Officer, Roberto Barcena, at rbarcena@nas.edu for these documents.); and


·    National data available on ISPEs.

Review and evaluate other relevant documents, including department of transportation (DOT) practices, and published and unpublished research conducted through the NCHRP, FHWA, states, and pooled-fund-sponsored research.

Task 2. Synthesize Task 1 to identify elements and key factors that can contribute to the accomplishment of the project objective including ISPEs already conducted using the criteria in NCHRP Research Report 1010, and additional roadside safety hardware ISPEs to be considered in this project. Develop a list of existing ISPEs and a preliminary prioritized list of recommended ISPEs to be conducted in order to inform the research objective. Summarize state practices related to ISPEs. Submit Technical Memorandum No. 1 documenting the work performed in Tasks 1 and 2.

Task 3. Create a plan to accomplish the research objective to be executed in Phase II. The plan must address the identified ISPEs as budget permits, or include the ISPEs in the recommendations for future research.

At a minimum, the plan shall:


·    Establish criteria for determining the acceptability of in-service roadside safety hardware through ISPEs, and whether the results indicate the need for updates to hardware testing and evaluation; and


·    Define how ISPEs can contribute to determining the crashworthiness of in-service roadside safety hardware and supporting owner decisions with respect to the continued use of existing in-service roadside safety hardware.

Task 4. Prepare Interim Report No. 1, which documents the work performed in Tasks 1 through 3 and provides an update for the remaining of the research. Interim Report No. 1 shall include an annotated outline of the proposed guidelines. The updated work plan must describe the process and rationale for the work proposed for Phases II and III.


PHASE II—Execution of Plan

Task 5. Execute the plan according to the approved Interim Report No.1.

Task 6. Prepare Interim Report No. 2 that documents Task 5 and provides an updated work plan for the remainder of the research. Interim Report No. 2 shall include a draft of the guidelines and a webinar. The updated plan must describe the process and rationale for the work proposed in Phase III.


PHASE III—Final Products

Task 7. Prepare final deliverables for the project including:


a.    A document with guidelines targeted to practitioners that summarizes the results and recommendations of the project.


b.    A stand-alone technical memorandum titled “Implementation of Research Findings and Products”.


c.    Two to be agreed-upon webinars to disseminate the project’s results. One of the webinars shall be directed to the Transportation Research Board’s AKD20 committee and AASHTO’s Technical Committee on Roadside Safety (TCRS). The feedback from the first webinar shall be used to enhance the second webinar whose target audience will be DOT practitioners.


d.    A conduct of research report documenting the project’s activities and lessons learned, including the recorded webinars, list of participants, questions and answers, feedback, and other records from the webinars.


STATUS: The contractor has been selected. Contract pending.

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