Crash Testing and Evaluation of Aging Roadside Safety Hardware

Author(s): Hopkins, Ghuman

Poster Presentation:

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There are many roadside safety devices installed on the side of the roadway in Ontario. Guide Rail, End Terminals, and Cable Guide Rail Systems are critical infrastructure devices that are designed, tested, and installed to keep motorists safe. Hardware ages over time, mounting heights become lower, vertical alignment exceeds tolerance, and standards evolve. How will aging hardware and/or modified hardware perform in a modern crash test scenario?


Our objective, as the Safe Roads Engineering Research and Development Team, is to explore common deficiencies found within the Ontario road network and crash test them at our facility in Springwater, ON. The deficiencies will be a result of age of installation and/or modifications to an Ontario Provincial Standard Product to accommodate site conditions. Our goal is to recreate these scenarios at our crash test facility, crash test the installation, and report our findings regarding the performance of the system.


We have been in the research phase for two months, identifying the products/conditions that we would like to crash test. In the Spring we will begin installing product at our facility and conduct the crash tests. Once the testing is complete, we will generate a report based on the findings.


Our goal is to provide a report, full scale Research and Development crash test video, and accelerometer data regarding the performance of each system. This report will be readily available to the roadside safety industry and help to identify the performance criteria of aging/deficient critical safety devices.


As we are currently in the research phase, we have found that there are numerous examples across the provincial and municipal road network of aging and deficient roadside hardware. We are very keen to better understand these installations and discover their capacity to function as originally intended by design.


Safe Roads Engineering has not had an opportunity to work with the members of CARSP and we feel this is an excellent opportunity to put a spotlight on roadside safety hardware in Ontario - particularly hardware that is aging/deficient. We feel that there are many deficiencies province wide that are not being addressed accordingly and we feel that this research will help to shed some light.