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FHWA Home / Safety / Roadway Departure / Barrier Terminals/Crash Cushions

Barrier Terminals/Crash Cushions

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This listing contains information on longitudinal barrier system terminals and on crash cushions that have been crash tested and/or determined to meet the criteria of NCHRP Report 350 or the AASHTO Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware.  These guidelines recommend crash text matrices and evaluation criteria for both barrier terminals and crash cushions at speeds of 50 km/h, 70 km/h, and 100 km/h for Test Levels 1, 2, and 3, respectively.

No additional test levels are specified for these types of devices.

Information on truck-mounted attenuators (TMAs) is also included in this listing.

For additional information on many of these safety devices, consult the 4th Edition of the AASHTO Roadside Design Guide and the Task Force 13 Guide to Standardized Highway Barrier Hardware.

Note the “keywords” above are only meant to help the user sort out products that may suit the terrain, traffic volumes, travel speeds, highway geometry, etc. They are NOT intended as a formal classification system and should not be used as such. When considering any crash cushion or barrier terminal, the user is responsible for reading the FHWA letter and attachments and understanding any limitations noted, and for reviewing the manufacturer’s literature to ensure proper selection, installation, and maintenance.

Click on the Eligibility Letter number to view copies of letters for the crash cushions and barrier terminals that meet Report 350 or MASH criteria. Devices tested under earlier guidelines that have no TL designation may be unacceptable for use on NHS projects.

Design drawings, installation instructions, and maintenance requirements for most proprietary products may be obtained through the manufacturer’s website.

* The category of “Low Maintenance/Self Restoring” impact attenuators includes those crash cushions that either suffer very little, if any damage, upon impact and are easily pulled back into their full operating condition, or they partially rebound after an impact and may only need an inspection to ensure that no parts have been damaged, misaligned, etc. Although some attenuators can still function and save lives after being struck once, no device is completely maintenance free.

Page last modified on September 27, 2013.
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