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Highway equipment

Special solutions for vehicle restraint systems in special situations on country roads (6418000)
It has become evident in practice that untested system solutions are frequently used primarily on country roads and that no systems exist at all for certain situations. Space-restricted situations and interruptions are just some examples requiring tested solutions. The test standard DIN EN 1317 for vehicle restraint systems (VRS) places requirements on the testing of longitudinal protective equipment, collision absorbers, initial and final structures as well as transition structures. Structures attuned to the local peripheral conditions (so-called special solutions) are new developments which cannot, however, be clearly assigned to any VRS type. They have not so far been tested and their behaviour in the event of a collision is categorised as critical in many cases. The development of new special solutions for specific areas of use are welcomed to improve traffic safety on country roads. The performance and practical suitability for the respective area of use of any such systems is to be demonstrated using suitable impact tests. The project will systematically analyse typical situations, particularly on country roads, and develop requirements to be placed on special solutions and their testing on this basis.

Qualification of the road restraint systems with improved protection for motorcyclists according to the current European specifications (03.516)
With the aim of improving road safety for motorcyclists, different motorcyclist-friendly guards have been developed in Germany, which are deployed particularly along sections of road with a high volume of motorcycle traffic (BASt reports V157 and V193). The technical specification CEN/TS 1317-8:2012 “Road restraint systems: motorcycle road restraint systems which reduce the impact severity of motorcyclist collisions with safety barriers” was published in 2012. The assessment criteria contained is this specification differ in part from German assumptions taken as basis for tests in the past. As a result, the systems used in Germany may not satisfy the European requirements. This is to be investigated in this project and possible recommendations for action made.

Effect of road markings on traffic safety (82.609)
The project aims to quantify the impact of longitudinal markings on country roads on traffic safety during the day and night. The impact of the road markings on safety-relevant behaviour is to be determined for this purpose. The project will investigate how the absence of markings can impact traffic safety. The influence of different road types, cross-sections, marking symbols, weather conditions and context-related peripheral conditions is to be considered here. The potential for further safety improvements by the targeted use of markings is to be determined within the peripheral conditions determined by the guidelines for road marking. The project also aims to evaluate the extent to which the provision and maintenance of high quality road markings is generally advantageous at a macro-economic level, and whether marking is to be afforded special importance in future with respect to the demographic development of the driver collective and the increasing use of driver assistance systems.

Criteria for the assessment of the hazard potential for motorcyclists from sharp-edged components of road restraint systems (03.514)
Dangerous bends along roads travelled by motorcycles are usually equipped with special lower guardrails. Protection systems without lower guardrails should also be designed with the safety of motorcyclists in mind where possible and no use made of sharp-edged parts. For example, back in the eighties sharp-edged posts of protection systems were replaced by rounded ones in order to reduce the hazard potential for motorcyclists involved in a crash. The technical criteria for the use of road restraint systems in Germany as well as the guidelines for road restraint systems (ZTV FRS 2013) also follow this basic concept of hazard avoidance. However, there is currently no research-backed definition of edge sharpness which is necessary to assess protection systems. The current project aims at developing and conducting a test programme on components of protection systems using accident analysis and hazard classification of known systems. Criteria for the assessment of sharp-edged parts in road restraint systems and their influence on the danger to motorcyclists on impact are then to be assessed to permit the assessment of road restraint systems in invitations to tender.

Life cycle cost assessment of protection systems (03.512)
Nowadays, investment decisions in invitations to tender protection systems are made exclusively on the basis of procurement costs. The sustainability and the life cycle costs of the systems are not considered in the decision-making process. However, from a macro-economic point of view, other aspects are also important for the long-term success of an investment, such as the costs for repair and storage, service, maintenance, recycling, expansion, conversion and retrofitting as well as the carbon footprint of the protection system. This project is aimed at pinpointing the sustainability of protection systems and assessing in monetary terms the long-term subsequent effects of investments under special consideration of the operating and repair costs. These aspects are to be considered in future invitations to tender at the time of investment. The concept of life cycle cost analysis is to be implemented for the first time for the area of protection systems with the objective of creating the requisite foundations for conducting corresponding assessments for typical protection systems in Germany.