Many state DOTs have sponsored research on roadside safety issues that include crash testing of features in accordance with FHWA adopted standards (NCHRP Report 350 and MASH). Many of the research and functional problems are common to more than one state and so there is efficiency and cost effectiveness in pooling resources to conduct certain crash tests.
To establish an ongoing roadside safety research program that meets the research and functional needs of participating states in a cost-effective and timely manner.
A committee of representatives from participating states formed a technical committee to identify common research needs, select projects for funding and oversee implementation of results. Specific research activities addressed within the program include the design, analysis, testing, and evaluation of crashworthy structures, and the development of guidelines for the use, selection and placement of these structures. Crashworthy structures addressed include bridge rails, guardrails, transitions, median barriers, portable concrete barriers, end treatments, crash cushions, culverts, breakaway support structures (e.g. sign supports, luminaire supports, mailboxes), and work zone traffic control devices.
Research also addresses the influence of highway features such as driveways, slopes, ditches, shoulders, medians, and curbs on single vehicle collisions. The problems identified with these structures and features are addressed through in-service performance evaluation studies, computer simulation, full-scale crash testing, clinical analyses of real-world crash data, and benefit cots analyses. The specific identification, selection and prioritization of research issues is made by the technical committee on an annual basis, unless emerging issues require committee decisions in the interim.