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Friday, December 19, 2008

Highway Cable Fencing Saves Lives in Minnesota

A somewhat novel idea in Minnesota is saving lives by keeping cars from crossing the median during accidents. A little over 15 miles of cable fencing has been strung up on highways around the Twin Cities area this year. The state has been installing the cable fencing since 2004, and covers a total of 116 miles of highway and road medians. Minnesota plans to add another 50 miles next year.

The role of the cable fencing is simple: When a vehicle loses control and leaves the highway, the 42-inch-tall fencing keeps the vehicle from crossing the median or flying off the highway. It slows a vehicle enough so that the driver can walk away. The fencing is strung along steel posts that are designed to snap off at the base and slide into a sleeve. They are easily replaced after an accident, and highway workers replace them as quickly as possible.

The cables are safer than concrete medians that can total vehicles and injure the passengers. One pickup truck driver who hit a patch of black ice at 50 miles per hour says that when she hit the cable it bounced her back onto the highway. She was able to stop and pull over. While the truck was damaged, it was minor compared to what a concrete median would have done.

The sections of highway where the fencing is placed have seen fatalities caused by vehicle accidents drop nearly to zero.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, please contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area.

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posted by Neil at 8:28 AM

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