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Safety 2018, 4(4), 50;

Traffic Safety at Median Ditches: Steel vs. Concrete Barrier Performance Comparison Using Computer Simulation

Department of Civil Engineering, Middle East Technical University, 06800 Ankara, Turkey
Department of Civil Engineering, Istanbul Technical University, 34469 Istanbul, Turkey
Department of Civil Engineering, Bursa Uludag University, 16059 Bursa, Turkey
Department of Civil Engineering, Iskenderun Technical University, 31200 Hatay, Turkey
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 August 2018 / Revised: 26 September 2018 / Accepted: 25 October 2018 / Published: 1 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Transport Safety)
PDF [5476 KB, uploaded 1 November 2018]


In Turkey, concrete V-shaped ditches are formed at the median section of divided highways to provide drainage. Recent accidents show that these ditches actually present safety risks to vehicles entering the medians. Vehicles either cross over the ditch, roll over, or become trapped in the ditch, depending upon the mass, size, speed, and angle of the entering vehicle. To overcome this safety risk and reduce the severity of these accidents, longitudinal barriers are installed along these ditches. Currently, in Turkey, steel barriers are extensively used to improve traffic safety at median ditches. In this paper, the crash performances of steel and concrete barriers used at medians with ditches are compared. A model of a standard steel EDSP-1.33 barrier and a model of a newly developed concrete C470 barrier were constructed, and impact simulations were performed for when they are installed at a ditch slope break point. A nonlinear finite element program, LS-DYNA, was used for the analysis. A 13,000 kg bus model was used to impact both barriers in accordance with European standard requirements for crash tests. Simulation results show that when the steel EDSP-1.33 barrier is used, the bus has the potential for excessive penetration of the ditch, with significant barrier deformation. Moreover, the barrier damage is extensive, resulting in increased maintenance costs. On the other hand, the concrete C470 barrier successfully contains and redirects the 13,000 kg bus impact, with minimal barrier deformation and safety risk. Even though the concrete barrier slides toward the inside of the ditch, the bus does not enter the ditch area and exits the barrier in a stable manner. Therefore, to increase traffic safety at ditches located at the median section of divided highways in Turkey, utilization of the newly developed concrete barrier C470 is recommended. View Full-Text
Keywords: ditch; traffic safety; simulation; concrete barrier; steel barrier; LS-DYNA; divided highway ditch; traffic safety; simulation; concrete barrier; steel barrier; LS-DYNA; divided highway

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Yücel, A.Ö.; Atahan, A.O.; Arslan, T.; Sevim, U.K. Traffic Safety at Median Ditches: Steel vs. Concrete Barrier Performance Comparison Using Computer Simulation. Safety 2018, 4, 50.

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