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Guidelines for Guardrail Implementation




Dean Sicking, Karla Lechtenberg, Scott Peterson




The Roadside Design Guide's (RDG's) barrier warrants are based on the premise that a traffic barrier should be installed only if it reduces the severity of potential crashes. However, the frequency of run-off-road crashes is not directly related to the severity of potential crashes. Furthermore, the RDG does not provide objective guidance that designers could use to determine what barrier performance level should be implemented and merely suggests using higher performance level barriers when an above average percentage of heavy vehicles or adverse geometrics with poor sight distance are present. The revised roadside barrier warrant procedure, which utilizes the benefit-cost analysis program RSAP, provides an improved method for estimating actual levels of risk associated with run-off-road crashes and their frequencies. The revised guidelines provide a reasonably safe roadside barrier warrant system and will likely reduce the overall level of injuries and fatalities.


Highway Safety, Analysis, Design, Roadside Appurtenance, Guardrail, RSAP, Barrier Warrants, AASHTO, Roadside Design Guide

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