State installing centerline rumble strips on area road

The state Department of Transportation (DOT) will install centerline rumble strips on four roads as part of a pilot program, including on a section of Route 34 in Derby.

These rumble strips are a safety feature on the centerline that divides opposite-direction travel lanes. They are a low-cost measure designed to reduce head-on and side-swipe opposite direction crashes.

In Connecticut, about 30 deaths and 1,000 injuries occur every year from head-on and side-swipe opposite direction crashes, according to the DOT.

Many other states use centerline strips

At least 30 other states are using centerline rumble strips, including New York and all of the New England states.

A 2009 study by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program found that fatal and injury head-on and side-swipe opposite direction crashes in rural areas were reduced by an average of 44% after the installation of centerline rumble strips.

Produce a noise and vibration

The centerline rumble strips alert the driver leaving the travel lane by producing an audible warning (rumbling sound) and physical vibration.

The sound and vibration helps to combat distracted, inattentive or drowsy driving, and can also alert drivers to the travel lane limits in poor weather conditions such as heavy rain and snow.

Centerline rumble strips are similar to the shoulder rumble strips that have been installed on Connecticut’s expressways since 1994, with both being parallel grooves cut into the pavement.

Other road locations

The pilot project will install approximately 11 miles of centerline rumble strips on four roadways. In addition to Route 34 in Derby, they are Route 6 in Hampton and Brooklyn, Route 12 in Groton and Ledyard, and Route 202 in Litchfield.

The DOT will evaluate the effectiveness of the centerline rumble strip pilot project prior to creating guidelines on their possible use in the future.