Guard Cables Save 45 Lives Per Year in Missouri

Like a safety net, median guard cable is lining more Missouri highways and making them much safer. The steel wire ropes are credited with saving approximately 45 lives per year in the “Show Me State.”

“Guard cables are saving lives on Missouri’s highways,” said MoDOT Interim Director Kevin Keith in a written statement. “They are a major reason why traffic deaths in Missouri have decreased by 31 percent since 2005 and are at their lowest level since 1950. Guard cables have proven their worth as a first line of defense dramatically reducing cross-median, head-on collisions.”

MoDOT has installed more than 600 miles of guard cable throughout the state. Interstates 70 and 44 are almost entirely lined. Guard cable is also strung along sections of Interstates 55, 29, 35, 435 and 470 and routes 36, 40 and 67. Installation has begun on Route 63 between Columbia and Jefferson City.

There were only three cross median fatalities in 2009 at locations where guard cable is installed (results are still preliminary).

Between 1996 and 2005, prior to the installation of guard cables, more than 400 people were killed in cross-over crashes on Interstates 44, 55 and 70 alone.

A video demonstrating how guard cable stops most vehicles from crossing a median is now available on MoDOT’s YouTube site at