Reducing Overheight Collisions: Identifying Structures in Need of an Overheight Solution

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Collisions between vehicles and low-clearance structures are incredibly dangerous and costly.

Understanding the specific attributes of a low-clearance structure that put it at higher risk of an overheight collision is a critical step in reducing such collisions.

Low Clearance Height

The risk of a collision goes up as structures’ clearance heights go down.

High Truck Traffic

If an area has high average daily truck traffic (ADTT), it is more vulnerable to overheight collisions.

History of Collisions

The more overheight collisions an area has experienced, the likelier it is that future collisions are imminent.

Type of Structure

Truss bridges are more susceptible to catastrophic failure when struck compared to girder bridges.

Age of Structure

After a collision, older structures are more likely to fail. At the same time, newer structures are investments worth protecting.

Lack of Alternative Route

Structures with long or zero alternative routes nearby for overheight vehicles to take are at greater risk of collisions.

While no nationwide database exists to track how many overheight collisions occur each year, an Alaska Department of Transportation (DOT) survey of 29 U.S. states found that 18 considered overheight collisions a significant problem.

Decrease these dangerous collisions by gathering as much information about risk factors and available safety solutions as possible.


Get tons of overheight collision insights in this comprehensive guide >


Part 1: Where and Why Overheight Collisions Occur

Part 3: Get to Know Your Overheight Warning System Options

Nick Schmidling

TAPCO | Senior Product Manager

With several years of product and project management experience, Nick is an expert on wrong-way solutions, dynamic curve warning systems, intersection conflict warning systems, overheight warning systems and LED-enhanced signs.

He manages product life cycles from inception to realization and compiles traffic safety market research to drive innovative ITS solutions.

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