Q&A - Rumble Strips

Q&A ImageQuestion: I wonder if you can find any information regarding the rumble strips they cut into the asphalt between lanes. I can see some benefit in them in waking up a sleepy driver, mainly on the side of the road.

However, on Hwy 6 from Vernon to Nakusp, there are a lot of corners and these rumble strips are annoying because most people drive over them which causes a lot of noise in your vehicle.

image of centre line rumble strips

I'm not sure if they increase tire wear, or cause potholes to develop prematurely. And who falls asleep anyways in a bunch of corners?

I would ask highways to question the value in punching all these holes in the road between lanes on winding sections of road.

Over 5,000 km of Rumble Strips in BC

According to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure there are more than 5,000 km of centre line and shoulder rumble strips installed on B.C. highways.

Centre Line Rumble Strips

These are used in no passing zones on undivided rural highways throughout the province. They are also placed along rural roadways on shoulders that are at least 1.5 metres wide to ensure there’s a smooth portion of shoulder for cyclists.

Collision Reduction Statistics

A study conducted in BC found a collision reduction of between 18% and 29% for various types of rumble strip installations.

Alberta Transportation reported on the cost benefits of rumble strips:

A reduction in collision numbers coupled with relatively low cost of installation makes rumble strips an effective safety measure to prevent run-off-road and left-of-centre collisions, and is considered highly cost effective based on the overall benefits to society that accrue over the life span of rumble strips.

Tire Damage

I am unable to find any reliable research showing that rumble strips cause damage to vehicles other than an increased risk for damage if you drive over them with a flat tire.

Stay in Your Lane

If rumble strips are annoying you as you drive, you must be unaware of your legal obligation to remain in your lane of travel. If not that, then you are not capable of maintaining proper lane position and should take driver training.

Learn More

Wikipedia has a good article on all aspects of rumble strips.

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