Why Are There Rumble Strips Outside of Construction Zones?
Maybe you've noticed the "rumble strips" right outside of some of the construction areas on the Arterial... Have you ever wondered why they were there?
Rumble strips are supposed to alert you if you're diverting from your lane of traffic, right? Like, they're there if you start going off the shoulder, or if you're about to cross the center line. So why would they be near construction zones?
Are they even "rumble strips?" Because if they are, they don't feel the same as if you cross into the shoulder or over the center line.
It may sound dumb, but I honestly didn't know. And after driving through quite a few construction zones (of course, it's Central New York), I was wondering why there were those "rope-like" bumps that made weird noises when you drove over them, near those areas.
So I did a little research. I have the answer for you if you've ever been curious about them...
Apparently, they are still "rumble strips." Or "sleeper lines," "alert strips," "drift lines," or whatever other term you want to call them. And areas have started using them heading into construction zones to try to reduce accidents and injuries. Yes, there are a lot of signs warning you when you're about to enter a construction zone, but this is just another way to keep you alert and prepared. According to Wikipedia, these types of strips are called "transverse rumble strips," and they're meant to make drivers slow down.
But do they actually work? Do they make people slow down as they head into a construction area?
Well, studies seem pretty varied. Some say yes, it does cause a small percentage of drivers to slow down, but other studies say it doesn't really make a difference.
So if you ever notice those groups of four or five "bumps" in the road (that feel like you're driving over four or five cords or pieces of rope), that's what they're there for... To keep you alert and to warn you to slow down as you get close to a construction zone.
...Just in case you were ever wondering.