Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2019 Feb 4;14(2):e0211674. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0211674. eCollection 2019.

Analysis of real crashes against metal roadside barriers.

Author information

IMUVA-Departamento de Estadística e Investigación Operativa, Universidad de Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain.
Departamento de Ingeniería Energética y Fluidomecánica, Escuela de Ingenierías Industriales, Universidad de Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain.



Metal Road Safety Barriers (MRSB) are one of the devices implemented in roadsides to mitigate the consequences of run-off crashes. In Europe, they have to meet the requirements of the European Standard EN-1317-2. This article analyzes a set of run-off crashes against MRSB, for which an in-depth investigation has been performed, comparing them with the standard tests. It has been observed that in many of these real crashes, the barriers have not worked properly in spite of having passed these standard tests. This paper demonstrates which variables may be responsible for this, with the objective of helping to improve the current test standard through the analysis of new test variables.


Multidimensional Scaling, a dimension reduction multivariate statistical technique, has been used to better understand how real crashes compare to standard tests, using several impact variables at the same time. Then, a statistical analysis has been developed to show the influence of the "Relative orientation impact angle" on the performance of the MRSB.


Most of the real crashes analyzed are close to "TB11" and "TB32" standard tests. In many of these real crashes, the "Relative orientation impact angle" is very different from the "Impact angle", and in these situations, the vehicle is not safely redirected to the road concerning the so-called "Exit-Box".


MRSB are not working properly in some situations that are not far from the standard tests. To handle this, it could be interesting to include the "Relative orientation impact angle" as a control variable in new versions of the EN-1317-2 tests to guarantee the behavior of the MRSB. These results can help to adapt some test variables from the EN-1317-2 to what is happening in crashes.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center