Centerline Rumble Strips
Decorative Line

In Connecticut, approximately 30 deaths and 1,000 injuries occur each year from head-on and sideswipe opposite direction crashes.  These crashes occur when a vehicle crosses over the centerline and impact a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction. 

Nationwide data shows 18% of non-intersection fatal crashes are caused by two vehicles colliding head-on and that 75% of these head-on crashes occur on undivided two-lane roads. 

Centerline Rumble Strips in Litchfield, CT
Decorative Line
What are Centerline Rumble Strips?

Centerline rumble strips are grooves within the double yellow centerline that produce noise and vibration when the tires of a vehicle come into contact with them.  The noise and vibration alerts the driver that they have departed from their lane, and give the driver an opportunity to recover.  Centerline rumble strips have an additional benefit of helping drivers navigate during poor weather conditions such as fog, snow, and rain.

Centerline rumble strips are similar to the shoulder line rumble strips used on Connecticut’s limited access highways since 1994, however centerline rumble strips are 25% narrower, 25% shallower and spaced twice as far apart.

Centerline Rumble Strips are a proven safety countermeasure.

Decorative Line
Centerline Rumble Strips as a Safety Countermeasure

The Federal Highway Administration has identified centerline rumble strips as a proven safety countermeasure to head-on and sideswipe opposite direction crashes.  The 2005 National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Synthesis 339 found that head-on and sideswipe opposite direction injury crashes were reduced by an estimated 25% at sites with centerline rumble strips. Federal Highway Administration - Centerline Rumble Strips

The Washington State DOT determined that the installation of centerline rumble strips have resulted in a 37% reduction in all crossover collisions, and a 57% reduction in crossover collisions with serious and fatal injuries.  Washington Highway Safety Report - Centerline Rumble Strips

The most comprehensive study to date was published in 2009 in NCHRP’s Report 641 “Guidance for the Design and Application of Shoulder and Centerline Rumble Strips”.  This study also supported previous findings that centerline rumble strips are a cost effective safety countermeasure that are safe for all highway users.  In this study, fatal and injury head-on and opposite direction sideswipe crashes in urban areas were reduced by an average of 64%, and in rural areas were reduced by 44%.

NCHRP 641 - Centerline Rumble Strips

At the time of publishing of the NCHRP’s Report 641, 29 States have installed centerline rumble strips, and since them numerous more States have installed centerline rumble strips, including New York and all of the New England States.

Decorative Line
Connecticut Criteria for CLRS installation

Centerline rumble strips will be considered for installation at locations that meet the following criteria:

  • Speed
    The speed limit is 35 mph or greater.

  • Traffic Volume
    The average daily traffic on the road is at least 2,000 vehicles per day.

  • Pavement
    The pavement should be in good condition and has been overlaid in the last three years.

  • Roadway Width
    The location is to have a minimum of 14 feet of width from the centerline to the edge of pavement.

  • Length
    The length of the proposed centerline rumble strips segment should be at least one mile.

  • Density
    Low residential density with residences preferably 100 feet from edge of road.

Additionally, centerline rumble strips will be discontinued at breaks in the centerline due to intersections with other roads or major driveways, crosswalks or two-way left-turn lanes.

See the attached files for links to details on CLRS in Connecticut.