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NCHRP Report 350 Compliance Testing of the BEST System




Brian Pfeifer, Dean Sicking, John Rohde




An energy absorbing guardrail terminal was developed at the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility in 1994 which met the safety criteria set forth in NCHRP Report 230. This terminal, known as the Beam Eating Steel Terminal, or BEST, relies on the cutting of steel W-beam to absorb the energy of impacting vehicles. Since this time, a new set of safety standards has been developed to replace those set forth in NCHRP Report 230. This new criteria is published in NCHRP Report 350, with the most significant change being the replacement of the 4500 lb sedan test vehicle with a 2000 kg 3/4 ton pickup. The new criteria reflects the increase in popularity of pickups, vans, and sport utility vehicles which have a significantly higher center of gravity than the sedans and small cars which have been the standard for crash testing until now. In order to insure that the BEST system would perform well under these new, and more stringent, criteria the system was subjected to the matrix of full-scale vehicle crash tests required by NCHRP Report 350. The results of this successful program are reported here.


Highway Safety, Roadside Appurtenances, Crash Tests, Guardrail Terminal, Compliance Tests, Energy Absorbing

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