This report is an analysis of 127 accidents involving crash cushions in Kentucky. The primary data base was for the period 1980-82, with some additional data before and after this period. An attempt was made to document each accident with a police report, photographs, and a repair form. The largest number of accidents (63) involved a Hi-Dro cell cushion or cluster, followed by 33 accidents involving a G.R.E.A.T. crash cushion, 19 with a temporary G.R.E.A.T., 10 with sand barrels, and 2 with steel drums.

Average repair cost was lowest for the Hi-Dro cell cushion ($392) and highest for the Hi-Dro cell cluster ($2,839). Other repair costs were $1,886 for the G.R.E.A.T. system, $887 for sand barrel installations, and $1,760 for steel drum installations.

For those accidents in which performance was noted, crash cushions performed properly 85 percent of the time. Instances of improper performance generally involved either a vehicle rebounding into or across the adjacent roadway or a vehicle overturning. All of the various types performed well.

Results from the cost-effectiveness analysis show that crash cushion installations produce a benefit-cost ratio in the range of 1.0 – 2.0.

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The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors, who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, nor the Federal Highway Administration. The report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.