Can New Median Barriers Save PA Car Crash Victims’ Lives?

Posted on: September 20th, 2010       Attorney Thomas Newell

Fatal car accidents occur far too frequently on Route 22, Route 33, I-80 and I-78.  PennDOT officials are reviewing the various types of median barriers necessary to protect the driving public.  Your Pennsylvania car accident lawyer commends Dan Hartzell of The Morning Call for an excellent September 13, 2010 article on this important topic.  On highways where adjacent lanes of travel are right next to each other, concrete barriers are used to prevent vehicles from crashing into oncoming traffic.

However, as Mr. Hartzell points out, “New Jersey” barriers have no “give”.  They can cause serious injuries to those inside the striking car.  The concrete barriers can also deflect a striking motor vehicle back into the travel lane adding to the potential of another car wreck.  Route 22 and the Northeast Extension of the PA Turnpike currently use concrete barriers extensively.

A new type of cable median barrier (CMB) will be installed by PennDOT on I-78 beginning next summer.  This type of barrier is designed to slow down errant vehicles to prevent crashes with oncoming traffic.  The CMBs are designed to have enough “give” to lessen the force of the impact on the occupants of the striking vehicle.  The cable median barriers should also reduce the “rebound effect” which could put a car back into harm’s way on the highway.

Your PA auto accident attorney has observed the recent installation of CMBs on Route 422 which has a lengthy history of fatal cross-over crashes.  Large grass medians alone are not sufficient to prevent vehicles from crashing into oncoming traffic.  Hopefully, PennDOT will install cable median barriers on all sections of our superhighways which are currently unprotected.

If you have been seriously injured in a Pennsylvania car crash, please contact Attorney Thomas Newell for a free home consultation.  He can be reached by phone at 800-980-4842 or via the internet at  Attorney Newell has been representing PA car accident victims since 1981.