Shoulder Rumble Strip Effectiveness: Drift-off-Road Accident Reductions on the Pennsylvania TurnpikeAuthor/Presenter: Hickey, John J.
To help decrease the number of accidents caused by drowsy drivers, engineers for the Pennsylvania Turnpike developed and installed an innovative type of shoulder rumble strip called the Sonic Nap Alert Pattern (SNAP). A distinct warning sound and vibration are produced when drowsy or inattentive drivers’ vehicles drift so their tires cross this pattern of recessed grooves along the shoulder of the roadway. Various lengths and depths of grooves were tested to select a design with enough sound and vibration to be perceptible in a truck cab and yet not too severe for cars or motorcycles. Design features, testing and initial results were presented at the TRB Annual Meeting in January 1994. After installation of SNAP, drift-off-road accidents per month decreased by 70 percent. This study reviews those initial results, adds traffic exposure to compare accident rates per vehicle-distance-traveled, adjusts for a decline in all accidents during the years considered, and revises the initially reported accident reduction to 65 percent. Follow-on results are developed for reportable accidents from 1990-1995, singling out those that could be directly affected by SNAP. About 12 percent of all accidents were considered fully susceptible to SNAP treatment. A reduction of 60 percent in treatable accidents, or a decline in rate by 2.3 accidents per 100 million vehicle miles (1.43 per 100 million vehicle kilometers) was documented for 53 segments totaling 348 mi (560 km) of roadway.
Publisher: Transportation Research Board
Publication Date: January 1997
Full Text URL: Link to URL
Publication Types: Reports, Papers, and Research Articles
Topics: Crash Data; Motorcycle Safety; Rumble Strips