Technology ServicesRoad Infrastructure Safety

The safety elements associated with the road infrastructure are one of the key elements to reduce the number of victims in the event of an accident after driving off the road.
We have one of the most modern and advanced crash test laboratories for testing, researching and assessing these safety elements of the road infrastructure.

Safety barriers

In order to maintain and improve road safety, road design necessitates the installation of vehicle restraint systems in particular stretches and locations.

These systems are designed to redirect out-of-control vehicles on the basis of specific restraint characteristics and levels related to the amount of energy they must withstand, as per the European standard UNE-EN 1317, by means of real-scale crash tests.

 

 

High-restraint parapets

High-restraint parapets are a particular type of restraint system which is installed on the edges of bridges, crests or similar structures where there are large drops and is intended to withstand the impact of heavy vehicles (up to 38t).

In order to guarantee the right performance, in our test facilities we can replicate the conditions existing in bridges, thereby being able to reproduce the interaction between the restraint system and the bridge structure.

Attenuators, terminals and transitions

Safety barriers and parapets restrain out-of-control vehicles that drive off the road. However, there are difficulties in solving points in which different systems join each other as well as ends.

Our road infrastructure safety lab in divided into different areas in which to evaluate the impact behaviour of these elements, in compliance with the European standard UNE-EN 1317, by reproducing different layout configurations. Together with safety barriers and parapets, impact attenuators, transitions and terminals allow to have well-rounded, safe roadsides.

 

 

Singular locations

Safety barriers and parapets provide generic solutions for their large-scale use in the protection of erratic vehicles. There are, however, singular areas that leave room for particular solutions.

Thanks to its dimensions, resources and capabilities, in the outdoor lab we can replicate and assess more daring configurations and designs, from which the best solutions for roads will arise: brickwork, runaway truck ramps, inconceivable ditches.

Infrastructure element support structures

In case of accident, lighting poles, sign posts and support structures in general may pose a serious risk for vehicle occupants if they are not duly protected or specifically designed to buckle or break in a manner that is safe for users.

To evaluate this aspect, we are certified pursuant to the European standard UNE-EN 12767, which assesses the impact behaviour of this type of elements.

 

 

Motorcyclist protection

In order to extend the protection of restraint systems to cover more vulnerable users such as cyclists and motorcyclists, in 2005 the standard UNE 135900 on motorcyclist protection systems was published in Spain with our scientific and technical assistance; it was the first standard of this kind to be published in the world and an absolute reference point in the field from then on.

In order to conduct this type of tests, we have a dedicated test track where we have faithfully reproduced real installation conditions and which is provided with human-like dummies fitted with wireless instrumentation.

Certification and support of the CE marking

Our Road Infrastructure Safety Lab is UNE-EN-ISO/IEC 17025-certified as per test standards UNE-EN 1317, UNE-EN 12767 and UNE 135900 (ENAC No412/LE858).

In order to provide support to our clients during the certification process for their products, we collaborate (as notified body No1813) with Spanish Notified Bodies that grant the CE marking of vehicle restraint systems in order as to speed up the additional formalities and testing needed to obtain said mark.

 

 

Substructure testing

Even though full-scale testing of a restraint system may be considered to be the final step in its development, during the design phase it might become necessary to evaluate different system operation mechanisms, to check whether foundations, anchors and joints behave according to design specifications and to obtain detailed information on the transmission of forces to said elements.

To make this easier, we have a high-energy pendulum for the partial testing of substructures, which are installed on both controlled ground by pile-driving and rigid ground or that mimic bridge decks

Assessing user behaviour

Since one of the fundamental aspects of safety lies with users and their behaviour, the configuration of the different areas in the Road Safety Lab – with over 20,000 paved square metres – allows us to conduct controlled driving tests aimed at assessing the behaviour of users when they are faced with different preventive safety aspects or new signalling or lighting systems which, for safety reasons, cannot be evaluated in real traffic conditions. Therefore, we have at our disposal a controlled environment that reproduces existing road conditions.

 

 

If it doesn’t exist we invent it...

Our expertise in testing and standard definition, together with the characteristics of our facilities, enables us to perform a great deal of tests, standardised or not.

Our experienced staff and facilities, in addition to the close to 25ha occupied by the Road Safety Lab – with multiple independent test areas, enable us to control the facilities and perform different impact tests with different types of terrain, ditch geometries, other moving vehicles, and trespass safety systems (ASTM F 2656-07, PAS 68) and thus meet our clients’ needs.

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