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Evaluation and Update of MASH Test Vehicles




Cody Stolle, Kellon Ronspies, Bob Bielenberg, Ronald Faller




The Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) requires full-scale crash testing of roadside features using worst practical impact conditions, which are supposed to be representative of the composition of vehicles involved in run-off-road crashes and roadside departure speeds and angles. For this research effort, the composition of the United States vehicle fleet was investigated using three data sources: state Department of Transportation (DOT) crashes; state and national vehicle registrations; and new vehicle sales. New vehicle sales were the most convenient and economical data source, and was determined to be representative of both crash and registration data; therefore analysis was recommended using new vehicle sales. A sales-based cumulative distribution for new vehicle weights was used to identify the 5th and 95th percentile weights to update criteria for the 1100C small car and 2270P pickup truck, respectively. The 5th percentile weight was determined to be 2,800 lb and 4-door, gas-powered, base trim candidate small car options were recommended. Relatively few pickup truck options were identified at the 95th percentile weight of 5,850 lb, and because recent 2018 and 2019 model year pickup truck weights were much lower for Chevrolet and Ram models, a 92.5 percentile weight of 5,400 lb was selected, and a pickup truck with four-wheel drive (4WD), ½-ton suspension, and crew cab trim was recommended. Recommendations were provided to update the 1500A mid-size car; it was recommended that compact (crossover) utility vehicles (CUVs) be considered as they accounted for 40% of all new vehicle sales in 2017. A crash test pilot program should be implemented to begin testing of the recommended MASH small and large passenger vehicles. Updated MASH passenger vehicle properties and a method for continually updating vehicle selection criteria are herein recommended.


Highway Safety, Crash Test, Roadside Appurtenances, Compliance Test, MASH 2016, Crash Data Analysis, Vehicle Selection

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