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Guardrail saves Missouri woman’s life in icy conditions

The roadway safety and infrastructure industry continues to advance and adapt to the introduction of new technologies and devices. Both roadway users and the transportation community recognize that guardrail save lives every day on our roads. Roadway safety infrastructure can mean the difference between life and death when crashes happen, and guardrail are an important part of that infrastructure.

If installed correctly, guardrail reduces fatalities and serious-injuries caused by roadway departure (RwD) crashes by 16 to 47 percent. Median barriers are extremely effective in reducing cross-median crashes with a 52 percent reduction in all fatal crashes and a 61 percent reduction in all serious-injury crashes.

Additionally, there are a number of stories of individuals who were saved from crashes by either a guardrail or a cable barrier at the crash location—individuals like Kristina Bernskoetter of Columbia, Missouri, whose life was saved by median cable barrier on Dec. 25, 2005.

Bernskoetter was traveling on I-70 near Columbia, Missouri, when her vehicle hit a patch of ice, slid out of control and entered the median, sliding rapidly toward oncoming traffic. Her vehicle was ‘snagged’ by the median steel cable barrier, which cushioned the blow and prevented her from sliding into the oncoming lanes of traffic.

“I remember thinking, ‘I’m going to cross into the other lanes,’ because I didn’t even notice the guard cables. I said a quick prayer, closed my eyes and hit - but I was safe,” Bernskoetter said.

Bernskoetter left the scene of the accident uninjured.

Stories like Bernskoetter’s are prime examples of how guardrail saves lives every day on our nation’s roadways. For more information and stories like Bernskoetter’s, visit Share your stories and the message that guardrails save lives on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn with the hashtag #GuardrailsSaveLives.

Bernskoetter’s vehicle in the median on I-70. Photo courtesy of Mo.-DOT .

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