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Rumble Strip Noise Reduction

January 6, 2010
Rumble Strip Noise Reduction

Problem Statement:
As a safety measure many state highway agencies have installed rumble strips on paved shoulders of many highways. Designed to alert tired or inattentive drivers who have departed from the travel lane in time for them to safely recover, rumble strips can create an undesirable noise level at adjacent residential areas. Although there has been previous research on rumble strip noise levels, additional research is needed to recommend best practices. Ways to reduce the radiated noise levels from rumble strips while maintaining the necessary alerting safety features need to be investigated.
Proposed Research:
The objective of this research project would be to identify alternative designs that could effectively alert errant drivers that they are leaving the travel lane without raising the noise levels at adjacent properties. In order to accomplish the research, the following tasks need to be addressed:
Part I
  • A comprehensive global literature search, including the following aspects:
    • Existing rumble strip noise measurement studies
    • Metrics to assess both the rumble strip noise and driver response effectiveness
    • Existing and innovation warning designs
  • Identify methods for ranking alerting mechanisms in terms of both noise and safety
  • Determine existing, innovative, or potential candidate alerting mechanisms for further investigations
  • Report on findings
Cost: $100,000
Durations: 12 months
Part II
  • Further develop designs as needed
  • Prepare or find field measurement sites
  • Investigate candidate alerting mechanisms, including the following aspects:
    • Field measurements
    • Practicality of construction
    • Effectiveness of alerting driver
    • Durability of alerting mechanism
  • Complete a report recommending best practices
Cost: $400,000
Durations: 36 months

Sponsoring Committee: ADC40, Transportation-Related Noise and Vibration
Date Posted: 01/06/2010
Date Modified: 01/06/2010
Index Terms: Rumble strips, Traffic noise, Road shoulders, Paved shoulders, Warning devices, Best practices, Lane departures, Travel lanes, Noise reduction,

Safety and Human Factors

Please click here if you wish to share information or are aware of any research underway that addresses issues in this research needs statement. The information may be helpful to the sponsoring committee in keeping the statement up-to-date.

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