An Innovative and Simple Redesign of Roads in Sweden can Saves Lives Around the World

An accepted name for the new design is simply the ‘Swedish 2 + 1 road with wire rope median.’

Central guardrail / crash barrier on a rural road -- a Swedish road safety innovation.
This excellent feature for busy rural roads actually comes from Sweden, where it is known as a ‘2+1’ road.  A cable barrier or – as here – a solid barrier is placed, without a raised median, between opposing traffic.  Often there are two lanes in one direction and one in the other, but this alternates from one side to the other periodically, to permit overtaking. The result? No deadly head-on collisions… a major safety improvement.   (Copyright image, 2019.)

Following our own three-week road trip around neighbouring Norway, a few months ago, I had intended to write more on this subject for Road Safety USA but sadly my list or articles that I wish to write far exceeds the time I can set aside in which to do so, and this is a topic that was still in my ‘To Do’ list.

Delightfully, though, the job has been done for me, quite unwittingly, by Tanya Mohn at Forbes.

I first worked with Tanya (by answering many questions for one of her articles) more than ten years ago, when she was writing for the New York Times.  Very recently, she was kind enough to produce an entire article about my experience and beliefs concerning the differences in road safety attitudes between various countries.

Anyway, Tanya has now written one of her typically excellent pieces about the ‘2 + 1’ roads of Sweden and how they can help other countries to dramatically reduce the incidence of fatal head-on collisions.  It would be a very effective ‘fix’ for many roads in the USA and is well worth the read.


See also:   Road Safety Lessons from Norway – Introduction

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