Safer guardrail-to-bridge rail transitions

Charles F McDevitt

This paper discusses the design, testing, and development of guardrail-to-bridge rail transitions. In order to solve safety problems with

vehicles impacting the ends of bridge rails, a family of transition designs were crash tested with passenger cars in accordance with the recommendations of National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 230. These transition designs became widely used in the United States. However, when these same transition designs were crash tested with pickup trucks in accordance with the new recommendations in NCHRP Report 350, they failed due to vehicle rollovers. This paper describes how these safety problems were solved and how improved transition designs were developed that meet the various levels in NCHRP Report 350.

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