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FHWA Review of ET-Plus

Overhead view of guardrail crash test
   Source: SwRI crash test video


As a national leader in highway safety, FHWA helps ensure that America’s roads remain among the safest in the world. This commitment to safety is the principle that guides all our efforts. FHWA, in concert with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the States, has acted on multiple fronts to assess the performance of roadside safety hardware and, specifically, the ET-Plus guardrail end terminal.

In particular, questions had been raised about whether the ET-Plus guardrail end terminal satisfies applicable safety criteria and performs as intended in the field. FHWA conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the safety performance of the ET-Plus to answer these questions.

We reviewed previous crash tests of the ET-Plus and requested that its manufacturer (Trinity Highway Products, LLC) conduct new crash tests on the ET-Plus and concluded that it meets applicable safety criteria.

FHWA worked to thoroughly assess as much credible evidence and data as we could regarding the performance of the ET-Plus. These data included crash information collected by States and others, crash information submitted in response to FHWA's call for data in the Federal Register, and crash information in Federal safety databases.

FHWA and AASHTO formed two joint task forces to examine and address many of these issues.

More broadly, FHWA is assessing the scale and scope of an in-service performance evaluation of all W-beam guardrail end terminals, which will include collection of data from future crashes with the ET-Plus and other end terminals.

After months of rigorous data-driven analysis of the ET-Plus, FHWA has concluded that the device meets the appropriate NCHRP 350 criteria and it continues to be eligible for Federal-aid reimbursement.


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Page last modified on January 6, 2016.
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