Centerline rumble strips effective in reducing lane-departure crashes: study

April 11, 2012

Manhattan, KS – Centerline rumble strips reduce lane-departure roadway crashes and should be installed on two-lane highways, according to a study (.pdf file) conducted by the Kansas State University Transportation Center.

Researchers compared crash data from several two-lane roadways in Kansas before and after the installation of centerline rumble strips to determine whether they increase safety. They found the total number of lane-departure crashes decreased by two-thirds and the number of “run-off-the-road” incidents was reduced by 20 percent after installation of the rumble strips.

Researchers acknowledged that although some state transportation departments have fielded complaints from drivers that rumble strips interrupt vehicle handling and sometimes decrease the visibility of pavement markings, installation of the strips significantly increases roadway safety and outweighs the drawbacks.

The study was published online in April by the Department of Transportation’s Research and Innovation Technology Administration.