Numerical simulations allow engineers in roadside safety to investigate the safety of retrofit designs minimizing or, in some cases, avoiding the high costs related to the execution of full-scale experimental tests. This paper describes the numerical investigation made to assess the performance of a roadside safety barrier when relocated behind the break point of a 3H:1V slope, found on a Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) system. A safe barrier relocation in the slope would allow reducing the installation width of the MSE system by an equivalent amount, thus decreasing the overall construction costs. The dynamics of a pick-up truck impacting the relocated barrier and the system deformation were simulated in detail using the explicit non-linear dynamic finite element code LS-DYNA. The model was initially calibrated and subsequently validated against results from a previous full-scale crash test with the barrier placed at the slope break point. After a sensitivity analysis regarding the role of suspension failure and tire deflation on the vehicle stability, the system performance was assessed when it was relocated into the slope. Two different configurations were considered, differing for the height of the rail respect to the road surface and the corresponding post embedment into the soil. Conclusions and recommendations were drawn based on the results obtained from the numerical analysis.

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