Most state departments of transportation use simple adaptations of crashworthy guardrail end terminals, which typically include breakaway posts and an anchor cable, for downstream anchorage systems. The guardrail safety performance for vehicular impacts occurring in close proximity to these simplified, downstream anchorage systems is not well known. Further, the length of need (LON) for the downstream end of these systems has yet to be adequately determined. This research project assessed the safety performance of the Midwest Guardrail System (MGS) for impacts occurring in close proximity to a nonproprietary, trailing-end guardrail terminal under the Test Level 3 conditions of the Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware. The two research objectives were to (a) determine the end of the LON for impacts with light pickup trucks and (b) investigate potential risks for a small passenger car to become unstable when striking the downstream end of the MGS anchored by the nonproprietary, trailing-end terminal. Numerical simulations were carried out to identify the most critical impact location for the 1100C small car and the end of the LON for the 2270P pickup truck. In full-scale crash tests, considerable snag of the 1100C vehicle occurred; however, occupant risk values and vehicle stability were within acceptable limits. The crash test with the 2270P pickup indicated that the end of the LON was located at the sixth post from the downstream-end post. Guidelines were proposed for installing the MGS to shield hazards in close proximity to the tested nonproprietary, trailing-end terminal.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering