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Section 5: Rumble Strips

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Overview

Centerline and shoulder rumble strips are depressed or raised patterns used to provide auditory and tactile sensations to the driver as a warning mechanism when they leave the travel way. Transverse or In-lane rumble strips are placed perpendicular to the direction of vehicular travel and are used in very limited circumstances, the conditions for the use of these rumble strips are specified in the respective Traffic Safety Division RS standard. Rumble strips have been shown to be a cost-effective countermeasure for reducing the number and severity of roadway departure crashes. As such, rumble strips have been incorporated into the Safety Score Tools developed by TxDOT's Council on System Safety. Additional information on the Safety Score Tools is available on the TxDOT Design Division webpage.

Considerations for Centerline and Shoulder Rumble Strip Placement: Rumble strips shall not be placed on roadways with a posted speed limit of 45 mph or less. For rural high-speed roadways, rumble strips should be installed as part of new construction, reconstruction and overlay projects, unless engineering/safety judgment determine it would be detrimental to do so. Rumble strips are recommended on high-speed urban roadways where significant numbers of crashes, by frequency and percentage of total accidents, that involve any form of motorist inattention have been identified (e.g., opposing direction crashes, run-off-road crashes). Shoulder rumble strips shall not be placed across exit or entrance ramps, acceleration and deceleration lanes, crossovers, gore areas or intersections with other roadways. Depressed rumble strips shall not be placed across bridge decks. If a concrete shoulder will be used in the near future as a permanent travel lane or a travel lane in a work zone, depressed rumble strips should not be used.

Bicyclists considerations: In all installations, appropriate riding space for bicyclists should be a consideration. It is preferred to allow at least four feet beyond the rumble strips to the edge of the paved shoulder. On some facilities known to have considerable bicycle traffic, providing occasional gaps should be considered to allow bicyclists to traverse in and out of the shoulder safely.

See Traffic Safety Division's Rumble Strip standards (RS standards), and FHWA rumble strip guidance for additional information: https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/roadway_dept/pavement/rumble_strips/

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