- Briefing Room
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
FHWA Review of ET-Plus
As FHWA reviews previous crash tests of the ET-Plus guardrail end terminal and obtains new test data, we are committed to ensuring that the public has access to the same information we have. In that spirit, FHWA is releasing the entire set of 2005 crashworthiness test files submitted by Trinity Industries, Inc. to FHWA for the ET-Plus Guardrail End Terminal system.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASTHO), through its committee structure in which FHWA participates, establishes the test crash criteria for roadside safety equipment like the ET-Plus. For a State to receive Federal funds for guardrail end terminals, the end terminal must be crash-worthy, meaning that it meets the testing criteria in effect at the time the device was developed.
In 2005, the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) performed these crash tests for the ET-Plus device, and the manufacturer Trinity asked FHWA to review this data. TTI tested the ET-Plus to the test criteria in the National Cooperative Highway Research Program Report 350 (NCHRP 350), which were established and adopted by the AASHTO. Under the NCHRP 350 standards, a small car and a pickup truck are crashed into a guardrail end terminal head-on and at a 15-degree angle.
The files we reviewed are below. These files show tests conducted at a guardrail height of 31 inches. (FHWA had previously determined that the ET-Plus end terminal system met the NCHRP 350 criteria at a guardrail height of 27 3/4 inches.) Based on our review of these 2005 test files, FHWA issued Trinity an eligibility letter for the 31-inch height ET-Plus. FHWA reviewed the Trinity materials below again in 2012, along with other reports, to affirm eligibility for Federal-aid reimbursement.
Test Submittal Letter from Trinity Industries, Inc., August 10, 2005 (PDF, 575 KB) - incoming letter from Trinity requesting an eligibility determination for the ET-Plus system at a guardrail height of 31 inches.
Video: Crash Test Pickup Truck on Guardrail Face - video footage of the NCHRP 350 test 3-35. This test shows a pick-up truck striking the guardrail face at an angle and being redirected.
Video: Crash Test Small Vehicle Head On with Offset - video footage of the NCHRP 350 test 3-30. This test shows a small passenger vehicle striking the end terminal head–on offset to the passenger side. The guardrail extrudes to the side and when the energy of the impact is dissipated, the vehicle spins to the side opposite the offset.
NCHRP Report 350 Testing of the ET-PLUS for 31-Inch High W-Beam Guardrail, July 2005 (PDF, 8.05 MB) - crash report documentation Trinity submitted from the two crash tests conducted in July 2005.
- FHWA Acceptance Letter, September 2, 2005 (PDF, 846 KB)FHWA Letter indicating eligibility of the ET-Plus system at a 31 inch height for Federal-aid reimbursement.
To view PDF files, you can use the Adobe® Reader®.