Predicting the frequency of median barrier crashes on Pennsylvania interstate highways

Eric T. Donnell, John M. Mason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Median barrier warrant criteria were developed in the 1970s and generally remain unchanged today. Vehicle travel, including both traffic volumes and operating speeds, have increased over this same time period. Encroachments into the median, and subsequent collisions with vehicles traveling in the opposite travel lanes, result in high severity crashes. Median barrier is typically used to prevent cross-median crashes; median barrier selection is based on median width and traffic volumes. Quantifiable information regarding the effects of median barrier installation and its placement on crash frequency is limited. This paper investigates median barrier crash frequency on Pennsylvania Interstate highways, including separate models for the Turnpike and all other Interstate-designated highways. Negative binomial regression models were used to develop predictive crash frequency tools. Traffic volume, horizontal alignment, interchange ramp presence, and median barrier offset distance from the travel lanes were used to estimate median barrier crash frequency. The analytical methodology developed in this research can be used, in concert with other prediction models, to assess the consequences of median barrier placement decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)590-599
Number of pages10
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Law
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics


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