California Department of Transportation

Roadside Safety Research Group

This branch is responsible for evaluating the crash worthiness of roadside safety technology such as barriers, guardrails, crash cushions, bridge rails, sign supports and other hardware. The branch conducts full-scale crash tests on roadside safety hardware designs developed by Caltrans to assure that these designs comply with applicable crash performance criteria. It also evaluates the crash worthiness of proprietary hardware developed by others to assure that such hardware is acceptable for use on state highways. Finally, the branch provides support to Caltrans Legal in tort liability cases by conducting crash tests and providing technical assessments and expert witness testimony.


Research in Progress

Roadside Safety Research Implementation Information

The following table is intended to provide links to details and final reports for research performed by the Roadside Safety Research Branch in recent years.

Research Projects Federal
Product [Method of implementation] Structure XS
Sheets Number
Compliance Crash Testing of the Type 732SW Bridge Rail FHWA/CA15-2181 Pending Standard Plan   FHWA/CA15-2181
Investigation of the Crashworthiness of Barrier Mounted Hardware: Barrier Mounted Sign and Signpost FHWA/CA10-0644 Pending Standard Plan Xs16-075, xs16-076, xs16-077 FHWA/CA10-0644
Low Profile Barrier FHWA/CA10-0645 Pending Standard Plan   FHWA/CA10-0645
Weed Control Barrier Beneath Metal Beam Guardrail FHWA/CA10-0515

Standard Plan(s) RSP A77N5, N6, N7, N8, N9, N10

Development and Crash Testing of an Aesthetic, See - Through Bridge Rail, Type 90 FHWA/CA08-0766 Pending Standard Plan xs16-050-1,2,3 FHWA/CA08-0766
Crashworthiness Testing of a Portable Maintenance Work-Zone Barrier CA08-0277 Plans and Specifications maintained by Division of Equipment   FHWA/CA08-0277
Staking Configurations For K-Rail FHWA/CA/MI-2006/21 Standard Plan T3B   FHWA/CA/MI-2006/21
Crash Testing of Various Textured Barriers F2001TL17 Landscape Architecture Highway Barrier Aesthetics Web Page   FHWA/CA/
ST-20 Bridge Rail F00SD202 Pending
Standard Plan
Compliance Crash Testing Of K-Rail Used In Semi-permanent Installations F99TL30 Standard Plan T3   FHWA/CA/
Type 60K Portable Barrier F99TL36 Standard Plan(s) A63A, A63B   FHWA/CA/
Compliance Crash Testing Of A Steel Version Of The Type 732 Bridge Rail F2000TL22 Project plans for East Span of SFOBB   FHWA/CA/
Bridge Rail Transition F99TL28 Standard Plan(s) A78K,
various A78 series
Type 80 Bridge Rail F94TL48 Standard Plan(s) B11-60, 61, 64 FHWA/CA/
ESC-98-06 Part 3
Type 80SW Bridge Rail F94TL48 Standard Plan(s) B11-62, 63, 64 FHWA/CA/
ESC-98-06 Part 2
Vehicle Crash Tests Of The Type 70 Bridge Rail F94TL48 Standard Plan(s) B11-55, B11-56, B11-57 FHWA/CA/
ESC-98-06 Part 1
Type 60 Median Barrier: Vehicular Crash Tests of a Slip-formed, Single Slope, Concrete Median Barrier with Integral Concrete Glare Screen F92TL08 Standard Plan(s) A76A through A76I   FHWA/CA/