In the United States (U.S.) the annual number of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) crashes has been on an upward trajectory since 2009. In 2016, CMV crashes accounted for 11.8% of all fatal crashes in the U.S., and in Kentucky, between 2009 and 2016, the number of CMV crashes rose 27%. Of particular concern to state departments of transportation have been crossover crashes involving CMVs. These occur when a vehicle leaves its intended path and veers into the path of oncoming traffic, typically resulting in head-on or sideswipe opposite direction collisions. While some researchers have found that installing cable median barriers can mitigate crossover crashes involving CMVs, no definitive conclusions have been reached. To move toward a resolution of this question, this study leveraged analysis by a panel of experts and the development of safety performance functions and crash modification factors to gauge how cable median barriers can influence the number and severity of crossover CMV crashes on Kentucky interstate routes. Expert panelists contended that cable median barriers will improve safety, a conclusion substantiated by statistical modeling. Despite the study’s limited scope, it appears that installing cable median barriers can prevent or mitigate CMV crashes.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the Kentucky Injury Prevention Center, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
© National Academy of Sciences: Transportation Research Board 2021.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering