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Are you a fan of “rumble strips”?

Rumble strips (IA DOT photo)
Rumble strips (IA DOT photo)

DES MOINES – Have you drifted to the right side of the road while driving and felt (and heard) the loud, bouncing jolt of rumble strips, yet?

The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) continues to install a safety device known as “rumble strips” along Iowa highways. When a vehicle passes over a rumble strip the driver receives an audible warning (rumbling sound) and feels a vibration warning him/her that they are encroaching on the centerline or roadway shoulder, the Iowa DOT explains.

Saturday, the agency announced that 187 miles of them were set in 2014. Eventually, shoulder rumble strips will be installed on all rural freeways and expressways, and two-lane roadways with an average daily traffic count of greater than 3,000 vehicles per day or where a safety engineering review warrants the installation, the DOT said.

Rumble strips can be installed on the shoulders or in the center of a two-lane road.  Each strip is only about 1/2″ to 5/8″ deep and are about 5″ apart.

Iowa is also one of handful of states in the U.S. that use transverse rumble strips, according to a DOT website. These strips increase safety by reducing the approach speed of a vehicle and provide an audible warning to the driver that they are approaching an intersection. Transverse rumble strips are most commonly used on rural, two-lane roadway intersections with two-way, three-way or four-way stops. These types of strips have also proven particularly effective during nighttime periods when drivers are unsuspecting of approaching conditions due to unfamiliarity with the roadway, may be drowsy or their vision is inhibited by the darkness.

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