Tuesday, July 21, 2015

If you hear the sound from a rumble strip, you might be hearing a life being saved.

Maine's Leading Crash Issue...

Maine experiences an average of 800 head-on crashes a year and they are devastating - claiming an average of nearly 40 lives a year!

What causes drivers to come off the roadway or out of their lane? The leading factors are:
  • driver fatigue and drowsiness
  • distracted driving
  • unsafe speed
  • alcohol and drugs
Slippery road surfaces and poor visibility in adverse weather conditions can add to the susceptibility to lane departure.

Although vehicle technologies are being developed to help keep a driver aware of lane discipline, there needs to be other mitigations available to make wayward drivers aware that they are putting themselves and others in danger. The most effective and proven safety step is installation of rumble strips - they are a counter measure for driver error. They are used programmatically in other states. Use of rumble strips has contributed to a significant reduction at these serious late departure crashes.

An Effective Safety Solution...

What do rumble strips accomplish? For those drivers who are about to unintentionally drive off the pavement edge or cross the centerline, rumble strips create noise and vibration inside the vehicle through interaction with the vehicle tires. Often this alert is strong enough to get the attention of the distracted or drowsy driver, who can quickly make a corrective steering motion to return to the roadway safely.

Rumble strips can also alert drivers to the lane limits when conditions such as rain, fog, or snow reduce driver visibility. Rumble strips retain lane paint markings, thereby providing drivers improved lane identification.

Rumble Strip Types

Edge line (or shoulder) rumble strips are placed on the right side of the lane, designed to alert drivers when they have drifted from their lane.

Centerline rumble strips are the most common treatment installed on Maine's two lane roads - designed to alert drivers who may be heading for a potentially deadly collision, that endangers them and others on the road.

Questions? Comments? Contact the MaineDOT Safety Office:

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