Cable Guardrails Save Lives

There have been many questions regarding the cable guardrails that have been popping up all over Michigan. Yesterday MDOT issued a press release that describes the effectiveness of cable guardrails at saving lives. That press release is included below.


CONTACT: Bob Felt, MDOT Office of Communications, 989-619-7963

Cable guardrail works –
MDOT's You Tube channel shows why

December 7, 2009 -- The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is using social media to tell motorists about the benefits of its 280-mile cable guardrail program. The message is now playing on the MDOT You Tube channel at

"Cable guardrail is already doing exactly what it is designed to do - save lives," said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. "By preventing vehicles from crossing over the median into oncoming traffic, innocent people are being protected from serious injuries and even death. We expect to save about 13 lives every year and prevent numerous serious injuries."

Cross-median crashes are three times more deadly than other freeway crashes. Cable guardrail is designed to prevent vehicles from crossing the median and is expected to reduce cross-median crashes by an estimated 90 percent. In addition to reducing the severity of crashes, cable guardrail is a very cost-effective safety measure when compared to other barriers. Cable guardrail only costs $12-15 per foot, while steel "W-beam" guardrail costs $28-33 per foot and concrete barrier has a cost of $80 or more per foot.

According to state and federal regulations, funding for MDOT's three-year, $40 million program cannot be spent on other transportation projects.

For more information about cable guardrail, visit the MDOT Web site at: Follow MDOT at or visit the "Michigan Department of Transportation" page on Facebook and become a fan.