Determination of the Maximum MGS Mounting Height – Phase I Crash Testing

Post-and-rail guardrail systems encounter environmental conditions, such as severe frost heave or erosion, which may drastically affect the post embedment depth and rail mounting height. In addition, guardrail systems may be designed to accommodate future roadway surface overlays. As these scenarios arise, it becomes evident that the rail mounting height tolerances for post-and-rail systems need to be evaluated. Over the years, the recommended minimum top rail mounting height for the Midwest Guardrail System (MGS) was established as 27¾ in. (705 mm) based on crash testing with pickup trucks at 25-degree angles and according to the NCHRP Report No. 350 and Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) safety standards. However, no maximum height has been set. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the potential for increasing the maximum rail mounting height of the MGS. The research study included two full-scale crash tests with Kia Rio passenger cars, each weighing approximately 2,425 lb (1,100 kg). The first system utilized a 34-in. (864-mm) top rail mounting height and a line post embedment depth of 37 in. (940 mm). The second system utilized a 36-in. (914-mm) top rail mounting height with a line post embedment depth of 35 in. (889 mm). Following the success of the full-scale crash test program, both system heights were found to satisfy MASH TL-3 evaluation criteria for test no. 3-10. Evaluation of these rail heights under pickup truck impacts (test no. 3-11) is necessary before these taller systems can be deemed crashworthy according to MASH.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Prepared in cooperation with U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Nebraska, Lincoln

    Midwest Roadside Safety Facility
    2200 Vine Street, Whittier Building
    Lincoln, NE  United States  68583-0853

    Nebraska Department of Roads

    Midwest States Regional Pooled Fund Program,
    1500 Nebraska Highway 2
    Lincoln, NE  United States  68502
  • Authors:
    • Stolle, Cale J
    • Lechtenberg, Karla A
    • Reid, John D
    • Faller, Ronald K
    • Bielenberg, Robert W
    • Rosenbaugh, Scott K
    • Sicking, Dean L
    • Johnson, Erin A
  • Publication Date: 2012-3-9


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 240p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01376335
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: TRP-03-255-12, RPFP-10-MGS
  • Contract Numbers: TPF-5(193)
  • Created Date: Jul 24 2012 4:41PM