At Metalesa, whenever we talk to you about our products, we tell you what they are for, all their features, their advantages… That is why today we bring you a slightly different article in which we will talk about a topic that we usually touch on on our blog: regulation of vehicle containment systems UNE EN 1317.

If you need to review the existing vehicle containment systems, we recommend you read this article by clicking on this link.

A common regulation for the improvement of Road Safety

Since January 2011, it is mandatory for vehicle restraint systems installed in the European Union to be certified under the UNE EN 1317 standard. The creation of this standard implies the homogenization of the testing methodology for restraint systems and acceptance criteria, thus favoring Road Safety.

We understand that such technical standards can be difficult to understand and interpret, therefore, at Metalesa, as experts in the UNE EN 1317 Standard and as part of the UNE CTN135 standardization committee, we want to be your reference in Containment Systems Regulations . For this reason, in this article we will explain everything you need to know about the UNE 1317 Standard.

What is the UNE?

To explain the UNE EN 1317 regulation, it is first important to know where it comes from.

The UNE (Spanish Association for Standardization) is the only Standardization Organization in Spain. Its work lies in the creation of regulations for the different sectors, so that they conform to a series of standardized and accepted norms, which guarantee the quality and excellence of companies.

Specifically, at Metalesa we are part of the CTN-135 Standardization Committee (Equipment for Road Signalling), which is responsible for developing standards for the standardization of those elements or equipment intended for signalling, security, beaconing and traffic intended for information, planning and road safety. Therefore, the creation of standards related to vehicle restraint systems is included here.

Since its creation, the CTN-135 Normalizing Committee has elaborated 283 norms to favour Road Safety. In this article, we will focus specifically on the UNE EN 1317 standard.

Everything you need to know about the UNE EN 1317 STANDARD, the regulations for Vehicle Containment Systems

Vehicle restraint systems are essential Road Safety equipment on roads to avoid the serious consequences of an accident, which is why it is so important that their operation is subject to the acceptance criteria imposed by the UNE EN 1317 standard.

These are the factors it takes into account:

  • Containment level: Ensures that the containment system contains the vehicle in the event of a crash, without overturning the car or passing through the system.
  • Impact Severity: Reduces decelerations to minimize damage to vehicle occupants.
  • System deformation: Refers to the transverse displacement of the system during impact.
  • Redirection: Ensures the return to the road in a controlled manner of the vehicle that hits the containment system, in such a way that it does not invade other lanes.

Taking into account the above variables, we can differentiate between different types of restraint systems that differ in the consequences and effects that the impact of the vehicle has on the vehicle, the occupants, and the restraint system itself.

All containment systems are subjected to full-scale tests in which the above criteria are taken into account and must be passed in order to comply with the UNE EN 1317 standard.

Next, we are going to explain in a more extensive way each of the parameters that characterize containment systems:

Containment Level

It refers to the capacity of a Restraint System to withstand the impact load of a vehicle.

The risk of accidents on a given road, the speed allowed and the average number of heavy vehicles in each direction at the time of commissioning, determine the choice of the level of containment that a vehicle containment barrier must have.

In this sense, the UNE EN 1317 standard defines several containment levels, which are accepted when they pass rigorous full-scale tests. The list of essays that accredit each level can be seen in this image:

(*) The TB11 test aims to verify that the containment level of heavy vehicles is compatible with the safety of occupants in light vehicles.

These full-scale tests are carried out in accredited laboratories, so that values ​​are set for the speed at the moment of the crash, for the mass of the vehicle, and the angle at which it hits the vehicle restraint system.

Once the containment level has been established, a complex system of high-performance cameras and sensors calibrated in the laboratory allow the behaviour of a containment system to be defined by means of specific values ​​of the following parameters.

Impact Severity Level

The collision of a vehicle against a restraint system entails risks for its occupants. The impact severity level is defined by the severity of the risks inside the vehicle.

The Impact Safety level is calculated from the combination of the following values: Head Impact (THIV) and Deceleration (ASI).

It is important to note that, in Europe, the installation of an impact severity C restraint system is not authorised, as this value may involve a fatal impact for the driver of the vehicle.

System Deformation

The behavior of a safety barrier is characterized by the transverse displacement of the system at the moment of impact. This is defined in the full-scale tests through the working width and dynamic deflection parameters.

  • Dynamic Deflection: Refers to the maximum lateral dynamic displacement of the face of the Vehicle Restraint System closest to the traffic on the road. It is measured in meters.
  • Working Width: It is the distance between the face of the containment barrier closest to the flow of traffic before the impact occurs, and the farthest lateral position that during the impact reaches any essential part of the safety device. . The standard classifies this parameter from W1 to W8 depending on the meters of displacement.

  • Vehicle intrusion: This is the maximum dynamic lateral displacement of the containment system facing traffic without deforming. This parameter is evaluated through high-speed photographic or video recordings, considering a hypothetical load of length and width equal to that of the vehicle platform, and a total height of 4m. The UNE EN 1317 standard classifies this parameter from VI5 to VI5, depending on the meters of displacement.


Taking into account the above variables, we can characterize the various types of restraint systems, which will differ in the consequences and effects that the impact of the vehicle has on the vehicle, the occupants, and the restraint system itself.

We remind you that all containment systems with CE marking have been subjected to full-scale tests in which these criteria have been taken into account.

At Metalesa we are in charge of designing, manufacturing and installing vehicle containment systems taking into account all the acceptance criteria dictated by the UNE EN 1317 standard. In this way, we can guarantee the protection of people, and for this reason we must understand the regulations to perfection.

If after reading this article you still have any questions to resolve regarding the UNE EN 1317 regulation, we recommend you take a look at our section of frequently asked questions about containment systems, or if you prefer, you can contact us directly, we will be happy to answer your query.