Road Safety professionals regularly use acronyms, and industry jargon which can make research and official documents opague to outsiders. This page is designed to help clarify to those terms.
To link to a specific term on this page use a
# followed by the term in all lower case with
- instead of spaces. For example:
The test determined that the [trailing end](/Glossary#trailing-end) was...
23 U.S.C. 409 states “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, reports, surveys, schedules, lists, or data compiled or collected for the purpose of identifying, evaluating, or planning the safety enhancement of potential accident sites, hazardous roadway conditions, or railway-highway crossings, pursuant to sections 130, 144, and 148 of this title or for the purpose of developing any highway safety construction improvement project which may be implemented utilizing Federal-aid highway funds shall not be subject to discovery or admitted into evidence in a Federal or State court proceeding or considered for other purposes in any action for damages arising from any occurrence at a location mentioned or addressed in such reports, surveys, schedules, lists, or data.” source
Critical Impact Point.
A point along a given vehicle barrier at which the system is most likely to fail and cause harm to the vehicle occupant during an impact. CIPs are frequently discussed in barrier testing documents and presentation.
They are typically selected to maximize wheel snagging and rail tensile loadings, both factors that are likely to lead to a failed test. The procedure is based on the finding that the critical impact point is largely dependent on the strength of the posts and the rail bending strength.
Department Of Transport.
The common name for the government agency that operates major roads in a state or nation.
The part of a vehicle barrier, or other zone that traffic normally encounters last. This is a making an analogy between the flow of traffic and the flow of water.
This term is often used when discussing vehicle barriers, or road markings. It is analagous to trailing-end
The Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) is a core Federal-aid program with the purpose of achieving a significant reduction in fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. As per 23 U.S.C. 148(h) and 23 CFR 924.15, States are required to report annually on the progress being made to advance HSIP implementation and evaluation efforts. The format of this report is consistent with the HSIP Reporting Guidance dated December 29, 2016 and consists of five sections: program structure, progress in implementing highway safety improvement projects, progress in achieving safety outcomes and performance targets, effectiveness of the improvements and compliance assessment. source
The Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) is the official Federal government source of data on the extent, condition, performance, use, and operating characteristics of the nation’s highways. HPMS data are used for assessing and reporting highway system performance under FHWA’s strategic planning process. HPMS data also forms the basis of the analyses that supports the Conditions and Performance Report to Congress Exit Site and are the source for a substantial portion of the information published in the annual Highway Statistics publication and in other FHWA publications including information that is reported to the media. Importantly, HPMS is the primary source of transportation data that FHWA uses to determine the state's share of millions of dollars in annual federal transportation funds.
A process where several road safety testing facilities run the same test or simulation and compare their results. This helps ensure consistent processes are being followed at the different testing houses and help iron our issues with testing specifications. It is also a part of the lab accreditation process.
The Manual for Assessing Roadside Safety Hardware
This manual, published by AASHTO is the definitive guide for testing roadside safety devices like vehicle barriers, sign supports, and workzone devices. Compliance with this guide is required for a federal eligibility letter and is rapidly becoming a requirement to sell hardware in many states.
You can read more about the current progress on AASHTO's site.
National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 350 - Recommended Procedures for the Safety Performance Evaluation of Highway Features published by the Transportation Research Board National Research Council.
This report was the basis for guardrail and other safety device testing prior to the release of MASH.
Qualified Product List
The list of products that the State or Federal government can purchase for use on the roads. Getting their products on this list is an essential step for equipment manufacturers and can be a difficult and time consuming process.
The part of a vehicle barrier, or other zone that traffic normally encounters last.
This term is often used when discussing vehicle barriers, and it is analagous to downstream
The part of a vehicle barrier, or other zone that traffic normally encounters first. This is a making an analogy between the flow of traffic and the flow of water.
It is commonly used when discussing vehicle barriers and road markings.