NCHRP Report 350

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION: NEW Sign Post Specifications!

The MUTCD Section 2A-19, which is the national standard used for all roads open to public travel states, “Ground mounted sign supports shall be breakaway, yielding, or shielded with a longitudinal barrier or crash cushion if within the clear zone.”

The United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration has released a new publication “Safer Sign Supports: Are Yours Breakaway Yet?” to help define terms and new requirements in section 2A-19 of the MUTCD.

The publication includes the following information:

Breakaway Sign Posts are Required.

Rigid objects close to a roadway can become deadly hazards when struck by a vehicle that strays off the pavement. Supports for road signs, frequently placed close to the roadway, are hazards if they are not designed, manufactured, and constructed to break away upon impact.

What does breakaway mean?

Breakaway sign supports include components “than when struck by a vehicle, (sign supports) separate from the base and are knocked ahead of or up and over the errant vehicle.”

How will this be implemented?

FHWA realized that no agency can inventory, inspect, design, and replace non-breakaway sign supports overnight. The easiest way to accomplish this is to begin using breakaway supports when installing new signs or replacing damaged supports. All non-breakaway sign supports within the clear zone of areas posted at 50 mph or greater shall be replaced by January 2013.

SOLUTION: SNAP’n SAFE™ Breakaway Devices

Designovations, Inc. now offers new technology with the SNAP’n SAFE™ Breakaway Devices. These products meet and exceed the more stringent damage levels contained in the updated NCHRP Report 350 specifications for ground mounted sign supports.

All SNAP’n SAFE Breakaway Devices have been approved for use through the United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. Their approval letters include:

  • HSA-10/SS-120 Dated April 1, 2004
  • HSA-10/SS-123 Dated April 1, 2004
  • HSA-10/SS-136 Dated March 9, 2006
  • HSSD/SS-123, amendment 1 Dated February 28, 2007
  • HSSD/SS-146 Dated March 16, 2007
  • HSSD/SS-146, addendum Dated July 1, 2009
  • HSSD/SS-156 Dated December 6, 2007

Please contact us directly for a copy of any of the above approval letters.

Features and Benefits

  • Cost Savings – Install or repair sign posts in half the time with one person.
  • Roads are Safer – The sign post will no longer strike and penetrate the windshield or roof of a vehicle during a collision.
  • No anchors to repair, limits crew exposure to traffic and reduced liability.

VEHICLES INVOLVED IN SINGLE VEHICLE CRASHES
WHEN THE MOST HARMFUL EVENT WAS COLLISION WITH ‘TRAFFIC SIGN SUPPORT’
BY YEAR AND CRASH SEVERITY
FATALITY ANALYSIS REPORTING SYSTEM (FARS) 2011-2014 FINAL AND 2015 ARF
GENERAL ESTIMATES SYSTEM (GES) 2011-2015

Calendar Year Crash Severity All Crashes
Fatal Injury Property Damage Only
2011 123 4,868 31,590 36,581
2012 86 5,639 36,780 42,505
2013 112 6,680 47,425 54,217
2014 124 5,410 41,892 47,426
2015 106 6,010 44,595 50,711
2011-2015 551 28,608 202,281 231,440

NOTE: The injury and property damage numbers are not actual counts, but estimates of the actual counts. The estimates are calculated from data obtained from a nationally
representative sample of crashes collected through NHTSA’s General Estimates System (GES). Estimates should be rounded to the nearest 1,000.
Estimates less than 500 indicate that the sample size was too small to produce a meaningful estimate and should be rounded to 0.
This report was generated by NCSA’s Information Services Team, DRID; CATS# 2017.0000269; CV;
2017.0000269 VEHSINVL MHE TRAFSIGNSPRT CSEV 11-15.SAS; April 13, 2017 12:22 PM

NOTE: The injury and property dam