2016 MASH Standards for Highway Safety Devices

Standards for highway safety devices were updated last year by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). They expand upon AASHTO’s 2011 Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH).

MASH provides guidelines for crash testing highway safety features. It also recommends evaluation criteria to assess these test results. The MASH manual is recommended reading for all concerned with highway safety:

  • Highway design engineers
  • Bridge engineers
  • Safety engineers
  • Researchers
  • Hardware developers
  • Crash test laboratories

MASH compliance requirements

As of January 1, 2011, MASH replaced the previous standards set forth by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 350.

Under the 2016 MASH crash test criteria, all new highway-bound products must be tested. Existing products that were previously tested under NCHRP 350 do not need to be replaced. However, all equipment that is replaced must be tested under MASH standards.

                    Significant Changes between NCHRP 350 and MASH

Topic NCHRP 350 MASH
Small car test vehicle 820C vehicle (1,800 lbs.) 1100C vehicle (2,420 lbs.)
Small car impact angle 20 degrees 25 degrees
Light truck test vehicle 2000P vehicle (4,400 lbs.) 2270P vehicle (5,000 lbs.)
Gating terminals and crash cushion impact angle 15 degrees 5 degrees
Variable message signs and arrow board trailers No mention Added to truck-mounted attenuator (TMA) crash test matrix
Support structure and work zone traffic control device testing Only small car tested Small car and light truck tested
Windshield damage criteria Subjective/Qualitative Objective/Quantitative
Vehicle rebound in crash cushion tests None Required


Further, after December 31, 2016, FHWA will no longer issue eligibility letters for highway safety hardware that has not been successfully crash tested according to the 2016 edition of MASH.

For More Information

The new search feature from FHWA for crash-worthy work zone traffic control devices allows you to zero in more quickly on the eligibility letter or letters pertinent to the hardware you are interested in. Traffic-Pak products are listed under the Custom-Pak name as MASH-tested, and federal-aid eligibility letters from FHWA are available upon request.


Looking for more information on highway markers?  Check our www.Traffic-Pak.com line of products.

Looking for more on automotive  & related parts? Check out our Transportation and Automotive products.