ODOT explains measures taken to prevent crashes

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) – After several wrong-way accidents have caused drivers to question highway safety recently, the Ohio Department of Transportation is pointing out one safety measure in particular that helps prevent accidents.

In 2010, ODOT installed cable barriers on I-75 from US 224 in Hancock County to State Route 25 in Wood County to help keep traffic on the proper side of the highway.

There several different kinds of medians, including high walls or concrete separations. While none can prevent crashes, all serve a purpose.

"A car will come off and kind of get wrapped more like a net, that's kind of how it happens with the cable system.  It's because they give a little bit, but it only gives enough that it then kind of wraps the car." Said Lieutenant John Altman of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Cables in the medians may stop cars from going to the other side of the highway, but Altman says the amount of overall crashes has increased:

"If somebody spins off because of water, or somebody spins off because of going too fast, if there's just a median there, they may slide off into the median and drive back out without any damage."

By adding in a wall or cable barrier, there is going to be damage to their vehicle, but even though there may be an increase in crashes, the severity of the crashes may not be as bad.

In a nine year span before the cable barriers were installed on I-75, a total of 82 accidents involving median crossovers occurred. That is an average of about 8 per year.  Two were fatal, 52 resulted in injury, and 28 resulted in property damage.

Between 2010 and 2011 after the cables were installed, 38 crashes occurred, with no fatalities, 8 involved injury, and 30 had property damage only.

No matter which type they are, ODOT and state patrol troopers say medians keep you safe, and damaged cars are better than lives lost.

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