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Vehicle barriers, crash barriers, guardrails and other roadside safety features installed along U.S. highways undergo crashworthiness testing in accordance with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) under guidance from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Southwest Research Institute is accredited to provide full-scale crash testing services in accordance with the MASH and NCHRP 350 standards and is also accredited to conduct testing in accordance with the European requirements in accordance with EN 1317. View our A2LA accreditation for a full scope of services.

AASHTO MASH Vehicle Barrier Testing

Southwest Research Institute is ISO 17025-accredited to perform full-scale vehicle crash testing of roadside safety devices. Our clients range from manufacturers to end-users of roadway safety devices, and testing is conducted for development purposes as well as for FHWA approval. SwRI uses its onsite crash test facility to conduct devices installed in concrete, in soil, or at various locations within a median ditch. SwRI is capable of conducting full-scale testing of a variety of temporary or permanent roadside devices, including:

  • W-Beam or Thrie-Beam Guardrails
  • Cast-In-Place Concrete Barriers
  • W-Beam Terminals
  • Cable Barriers & Cable Barrier Terminals
  • Crash Cushions
  • Bridge Rails
  • Transitions
  • Longitudinal Barriers
  • Sign Supports
  • Truck-Mounted Attenuators (TMAs)
  • Temporary or Mobile Construction Barriers

MASH Test Levels


Passenger car and pickup truck


Passenger car and pickup truck


Passenger car and pickup truck


Passenger car, pickup truck and single-unit truck


Passenger car, pickup truck and tractor-van trailer


Passenger car, pickup truck, and tractor-tank trailer

Examples of Vehicle Barrier Testing

TMA attenuator truck (left), Crash cushion testing (center), Thrie-beam guardrail & bridgerail testing (right)

NCHRP 350 Sunset

FHWA is transitioning testing guidelines from the National Cooperative Highway Research Program’s (NCHRP) Report 350 standard to the latest revision of the AASHTO MASH standard for new permanent installations and full replacements. Testing of roadside safety features and devices under the NCHRP Report 350 standard is currently scheduled to sunset by December 2019.

New MASH guidelines, approved in 2016, encourage consistency in testing and evaluation and provide a number of guideline and documentation updates. SwRI is accredited and qualified to perform AASHTO MASH testing, is experienced with the updated MASH implementation process and can assist clients with testing or transitioning to the new standard.

EN 1317 Testing (Road Restraint Systems)

SwRI is accredited to perform testing of safety barriers in accordance with the European Union Standard for road restraint systems intended for use on the Highways England Trunk Road Network.

Roadside Safety & Security Barrier Testing


Or call Allen Beavers at +1 210 522 6012.