Tennessee Highway Medians May Not be Strong Enough to Hold Back a Semi-Truck

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Following a truck crash in Kentucky that killed 10 others along with the truck driver, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is calling for stronger median barriers separating two-way traffic. In the Kentucky truck accident, the semi crossed the median and drove right through cable cord barriers into oncoming traffic, colliding with a passenger van.

Despite the cables being designed to stop a driver from crossing into traffic, the truck accident shows that the cords are certainly not strong enough to stop a semi-truck. Similar cable barriers are used throughout Tennessee and the Mid-South.

One problem with changing this highway safety situation is that a cable barrier strong enough to stop trucks does not currently exist. Those that are currently seen on Tennessee highways are best-suited to stop cars and light trucks.

Truck Crash Brings Cable Problems to Light, Now What?

The failure of the cable barrier was found to be a contributing factor in the severity of thefatal truck crash. The truck driver was also using his cell phone at the time and the NTSB is recommending a complete ban of mobile phone use for texting or calling while a commercial driver is behind the wheel.

As for the cables, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) has already spent millions of dollars purchasing and installing similar cables to those that failed in the Kentucky crash throughout Tennessee. But, TDOT says it will be looking into any new recommendations from the NTSB regarding median barricades that may improve highway safety.

Semi-truck accidents tend to be more dangerous and more devastating than car accidents. Based on the sheer size and weight of a truck versus a car, those involved in a semi-truck accident often suffer serious injury or death. On top of those factors, the cargo being hauled by a semi-truck may pose an additional threat in the form of flammable liquid or gas, or large materials that may escape the truck bed and create road hazards for other drivers.

Source: NTSB Wants Better Barriers