Wisconsin Department of Transportation

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Benefits of rumble strips

Improved safety

Rumble strips on the shoulders reduce run-off-the-road crashes by warning drivers they are leaving their lane. They are located at the edge of the shoulder and sometimes the white edge line is on the rumble, referred to as a rumble stripe, or just beyond the white line or the traveled portion of the roadway.

The National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 641 published in 2009 provides a great deal of information and data on the safety implications of rumble strips. The report provides crash reduction statistics on shoulder rumbles along urban/rural freeways, rural two-lane roads, and rural multilane divided highways (nonfreeways) and center line rumbles along rural two-lane roads and urban two-lane roads.

Freeway performance

NCHRP Report 641 conducted before-after evaluations of shoulder rumble strips along freeways and expressways (multilane divided highways). According to this report, single-vehicle run-off-the-road (SVROR) crashes on urban/rural freeways were reduced by 18 percent and SVROR crashes on rural multilane divided highways were reduced by 22 percent.

Two-lane two-way highway performance

NCHRP Report 641 conducted before-after evaluations of shoulder and center line rumble strips along rural two-lane roads. According to this report, looking at single-vehicle run-off-the-road (SVROR) crashes on two-lane highways, shoulder rumbles reduce fatal and injury crashes by 29% and center line rumbles reduce head-on and sideswipe crashes by 44% and total crashes by 9%.

For more information:

SSI - Contacts Questions about the content of this page:
Jerry Zogg, jerry.zogg@dot.wi.gov
Last modified: June 4, 2014

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