Single-vehicle run-off-road crashes are the most common crash type on rural two-lane Iowa roads. Rumble strips have been proven effective in mitigating these crashes, but these strips are commonly installed in paved shoulders adjacent to higher-volume roads owned by the State of Iowa. Lower-volume paved rural roads owned by local agencies do not commonly feature paved shoulders but frequently experience run-off-road crashes. This project involved installing “rumble stripes,” which are a combination of conventional rumble strips with a painted edge line placed on the surface of the milled area, along the edge of the travel lanes but at a narrow width to avoid possible intrusion into the normal vehicle travel paths. Candidate locations were selected from a list of paved local rural roads that were most recently listed in the top 5% of roads for run-off-road crashes in Iowa. Horizontal curves were the most favored locations for rumble stripe installation because they commonly experience roadway departure crashes. The research described in this report was part of a project funded by the Federal Highway Administration, Iowa Highway Research Board, and Iowa Department of Transportation to evaluate the effectiveness of edge line rumble strips in Iowa. The project evaluated the effectiveness of “rumble stripes” in reducing run-off-road crashes and in improving the longevity and wet weather visibility of edge line markings. This project consists of two phases. The first phase was to select pilot study locations, select a set of test sites, install rumble stripes, summarize lessons learned during installation, and provide a preliminary assessment of the rumble stripes’ performance. This information is summarized in this report. The purpose of the second phase is to provide a more long-term assessment of the performance of the pavement markings, conduct preliminary crash assessments, and evaluate lane keeping. This will result in a forthcoming second report.
IHRB Project TR-577
Iowa Highway Research Board; Iowa Department of Transportation; Federal Highway Administration; Midwest Transportation Consortium
Hallmark, Shauna L.; McDonald, Tom; and Sperry, Robert, "Evaluation of Rumble Stripes on Low-Volume Rural Roads in Iowa—Phase I" (2009). InTrans Project Reports. 117.