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What is Containment Level

What is Containment Level

Containment level indicates the containment level of the system. Each containment level is defined by the crash tests that the safety barrier has to withstand. Each new safety barrier has to be tested at least twice, once with a light vehicle in order to detect the severity of the impact on a small-size car and the second one with a heavier vehicle in order to define the maximum impact energy that the system can withstand. The containment levels are classified according to the growing energy of impact of the heaviest vehicle tested.


From the results of these crash tests, all the parameters defining the performance of the system are calculated.

A safety barrier system, in order to 'pass' the crash test, needs to fulfil a series of requirements:

  • The safety barrier shall contain and redirect the vehicle without complete breakage of the principle longitudinal elements of the safety barrier system.
  • Elements of the safety barrier shall not penetrate the passenger compartment of the vehicle.
  • Deformations of, or intrusion into the passenger compartment that can cause serious damage are not permitted.
  • The vehicles centre of gravity shall not cross the centre line of the deformed system.
  • The vehicle must not roll over (including rollover of the vehicle on its side) during or after impact, although rolling pitching & yawning are acceptable.
  • For tests with heavy goods vehicles, no more than 5% of the mass of the ballast shall become detached or be split during the test, until the vehicle comes to rest.
  • Following impact into the safety barrier/parapet, the vehicle when bouncing back is not permitted to cross a line parallel to the initial traffic face of the system.

It is up to national regulations (not EN1317) to define what containment levels required.

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