Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Alert: The following services will be unavailable on Saturday, January 5, 2013 from 12 a.m. (midnight) to 6 a.m. CST due to system maintenance.

How rumble strips work

Rumble strips in Wisconsin are grooved patterns milled into the pavement perpendicular to the direction of travel. They can be installed on the centerline of the roadway or on the roadway shoulder. The driver of a vehicle passing over a rumble strip hears an audible warning (rumbling sound) and feels a vibration. These physical and audible warnings alert the drowsy, distracted or impaired driver, and assist the driver to identify the travel way in bad weather situations such as fog, rain or light snow, thus reducing the chance for a crash.

Milled-in rumble strips ground into the pavement are preferred over rolled-in rumble strips. Rolled-in rumble strips were previously used in Wisconsin until the mid 1990s. Milled-in rumble strips have been demonstrated to be the best design for reducing fatal and major injury crashes.

For more information:

Questions about the content of this page:
Patrick Fleming, patrick.fleming@dot.wi.gov
Last modified: July 3, 2012

All external hyperlinks are provided for your information and for the benefit of the general public. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation does not testify to, sponsor or endorse the accuracy of the information provided on externally linked pages. Some pages contain links to other documents and media types (PDF, Word, Flash, Video, etc.) and require free plugins to work. Visit our software information page for assistance.