In May 1976 two significant accidents occurred involving longitudinal barriers. An ammonia truck in Houston, Texas, struck a bridge rail, leaving 11 dead, 73 hospitalized, and causing 100 other injuries, for a total of 184 casualties. In Martinez, California, a school bus struck a bridge rail and left 29 dead and 23 injured. As a result of these accidents, an extensive effort has been made to develop longitudinal barriers capable of restraining and redirecting buses and large trucks. The results of 34 crash tests conducted using cars and mostly buses and trucks on 16 different longitudinal barriers were obtained from the references. Vehicles represented are 4,500 lb passenger cars, a 4,000 lb van or light truck, 20,000 lb school buses, 32,000 to 40,000 lb intercity buses, and 40,000 to 80,000 lb tractor-trailer trucks. Results of these crash tests are summarized. Theory and crash test results are presented to demonstrate the magnitude of the impact forces these longitudnal barriers must resist and how high they must be to prevent vehicle rollover. Typical designs of longitudinal barriers which have been successfully crash tested in accordance with recommended procedures are presented. (Author)

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Research performed in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration. Research Study Title: Modified Type T4 Bridge Rail to Redirect Buses and Trucks.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Texas Transportation Institute

    Texas A&M University System, 1600 E Lamar Boulevard
    Arlington, TX  United States  76011

    Texas State Department of Highways & Public Transportation

    Transportation Planning Division, P.O. Box 5051
    Austin, TX  United States  78763

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Hirsch, T J
  • Publication Date: 1986-2

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 27 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00457713
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-TX-86-32+416-2F
  • Contract Numbers: Study 2-5-83-416
  • Created Date: Aug 31 1986 12:00AM