Cross Median Crashes: Identification and Countermeasures


Gary Davis

June 2008

Report no. Mn/DOT 2008-17

The goals of this project were to first review the state-of-art with regard to identifying highway sections where median barriers would be most effective in preventing median-crossing crashes (MCC), and if necessary, develop remedies for any identified deficiencies. A statistical technique was developed for estimating the frequency and rate of MCCs on each of a set of highway sections, which required the analyst to review only a subset of hard-copy accident reports. This technique was applied to Minnesota's freeways and rural expressways, and highway sections were ranked with respect to estimated frequency of MCCs. A first version of a simulation model was developed for comparing the cost-effectiveness of barrier projects on different highway sections. The model uses Monte Carlo simulation to estimate the probability that an encroaching vehicle crosses a median with a specific cross-section, and collides with another vehicle traveling in the opposite direction. The model is implemented as a pair of linked Excel spreadsheets, with a companion macro written in Visual Basic for Applications.

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