- Briefing Room
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
FHWA Review of ET-Plus
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.
The first joint task force examined measurements of more than 1,000 ET-Plus devices installed throughout the country to reach two important conclusions:
First, the devices tested are representative of the devices on the road.
And, second, the measurements do not support allegations that Trinity manufactured a second version of the 4-inch ET-Plus.
The second joint task force, comprised of Federal and State safety experts, analyzed the data collected by FHWA to determine whether there is any evidence of unique performance limitations of the ET-Plus 4-inch guardrail terminal and the degree to which any such performance limitations extend to other extruding w-beam guardrail terminals.
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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