Recommended Test Vehicle Update for Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware

Kellon Ronspies, Cody Stolle, Ronald Faller, Robert Bielenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Passenger vehicles in Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) crash testing are required to be representative of the modern vehicle fleet and practical worst-case impact scenarios. The objective of this paper was to identify potential updates for standard test vehicle selection criteria for MASH as well as develop a preferred strategy for performing future standard test vehicle reviews. Representative vehicles were documented using sales data, and registration and crash data were observed to validate the primary use of sales data. Curb weights were plotted against cumulative market share of new vehicle sales to identify the 5th and 95th percentile “practical worst-case” weights of 2,800 lb and 5,850 lb, respectively, consistent with MASH philosophy. Suitable test vehicle options were found at the 5th percentile weight; however, a pickup near the 92.5 percentile weight (5,400 lb) was recommended to ensure vehicles are both representative of the fleet and obtainable for crash sites. MASH test vehicle specifications were recommended based on a review of geometrical and inertial properties of candidate vehicles near these target weights. Potential mid-size test vehicles were also explored, and four vehicle classes (two mid-size car and two crossover utility vehicle [CUV] classes) were identified as test vehicle candidates. Research on vehicle impact behavior of mid-size cars and CUVs are desired to determine impact behavior of each vehicle with different roadside hardware. Future revisions to MASH test vehicle selection criteria were outlined and should use analysis and attributes of new vehicle sales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-111
Number of pages14
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 11 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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