Median barrier crash severity: some new insights

Accid Anal Prev. 2010 Nov;42(6):1697-704. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2010.04.009. Epub 2010 May 21.


Median barrier is used to prevent cross-median crashes on divided highways. Although it is well documented that crash frequencies increase after installing median barrier, little is known about median barrier crash severity outcomes. The present study estimated a nested logit model of median barrier crash severity using 5 years of data from rural divided highways in North Carolina. Vehicle, driver, roadway, and median cross-section design data were factors considered in the model. A unique aspect of the data used to estimate the model was the availability of median barrier placement and median cross-slope data, two elements not commonly included in roadway inventory data files. The estimation results indicate that collisions with a cable median barrier increase the probability of less-severe crash outcomes relative to collisions with a concrete or guardrail median barrier. Increasing the median barrier offset was associated with a lower probability of severe crash outcomes. The presence of a cable median barrier installed on foreslopes that were between 6H:1V and 10H:1V were associated with an increase in severe crash probabilities when compared to cable median barrier installations on foreslopes that were 10H:1V or flatter.

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration / adverse effects
  • Accidents, Traffic / mortality
  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control*
  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • City Planning / standards*
  • City Planning / statistics & numerical data
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Environment Design / standards*
  • Environment Design / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical
  • North Carolina
  • Safety / standards*
  • Safety / statistics & numerical data
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Young Adult