Study of high-tension cable barriers on Michigan roadways.
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Study of high-tension cable barriers on Michigan roadways.

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  • English

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    • Abstract:
      Median-crossover crashes present the highest risk of fatality and severe injury among all collision types on

      freeways. These crashes are caused by

      a variety of factors, including drowsiness, driver distraction, impaired

      driving, and loss of control. The primary countermeasur

      e to reduce the opportunity for such crashes is the

      installation of median barriers. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) began installing high-

      tension cable median barriers in 2008 and has installed approximately 317 miles of high-tension cable median

      barrier on state freeways as of September 2013. Given the capital costs required for this installation program,

      as well as the anticipated annual maintenance and repairs costs, a comprehensive evaluation was conducted in

      order to ascertain the efficacy of cable barrier systems th

      at have been installed to date. Statistical analyses

      showed that fatal and incapacitating injury crashes were

      reduced by 33 percent after cable barrier installation.

      The analysis also showed the median-crossover crash rate

      was reduced by 86.8 percent and the rate of rollover

      crashes was reduced by 50.4 percent. In contrast, less

      severe crashes were found to increase by 155 percent

      after cable barrier installation. A detailed analysis of

      crashes involving a vehicle striking the cable barrier was

      also conducted. The results showed that cable barriers we

      re 96.9 percent effective in

      preventing penetration in

      the event of a cable barrier strike. Weather and road cond

      itions were also found to play a role in the frequency

      and severity of crashes, as well as cable barrier performance. An economic analysis was conducted to

      determine the cost-effectiveness of the cable barrier system, and guidelines were developed to assist in

      prioritizing candidate locations for cable barrier installation.

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