Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Research Services - 2010 Research & Innovation Presentation Series (RiPS)

Research • Innovation • Funding • Implementation • Technology Transfer

Orange barrels on a highway

Rumble StripEs

What are Rumble Strips?

Rumble Strips are groves or rows of indents in the pavement, designed to alert inattentive drivers—through noise and vibration—and reduce the number of accidents.

What are Rumble StripEs?

Rumble stripEs are longitudinal rumble strips that have a pavement marking stripe installed on top of them. In addition to warning drivers that they have left the travelled lane, rumble stripEs are much more visible in rainy and wet conditions.

Draft Tech Memo: Rumble StripEs and Strips for Rural High Speed Trunk Highways

MnDOT has completed a draft Technical Memorandum that includes standards for the installation of all longitudinal rumbles. This draft Tech Memo has been developed and approved by MnDOT's Traffic Engineering Organization Executive Committee, which consists of staff from the Office of Traffic, Safety and Technology as well as District Traffic Engineers.

DOT Rumble Meeting A.M.
DOT Rumble Meeting P.M.


NCHRP Report 641 - Guidance for the Design and Application of Shoulder & Centerline Rumble Strips (2009)

Effects of Center-Line Rumble Strips on Non-Conventional Vehicles (Jan. 2008)

Comparison of Dual-Phase and Static Changeable Message Signs to Convey Airline Information on Interstate Freeways

The objective of this study was to conduct a driving simulation experiment to determine whether messages displayed on dual-phase Changeable Message Signs (CMSs) that the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) has proposed for use on the Trunk Highway approaches to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International (MSP) airport, are as effective in influencing driving behavior as messages displayed on static CMSs. To achieve this objective, we determined the accuracy of driver responses—i.e., whether or not the drivers took the appropriate highway exit—when airline information was displayed on either a dual-phase or two static CMSs. In addition, we also evaluated whether or not the CMSs caused the drivers to reduce their driving speed.

What are Changeable Message Signs?

Changeable Message Signs (CMSs) are traffic control devices designed to display messages that can be varied. They are also known as Variable Message Signs (VMSs), Dynamic Message Signs (DMSs), and Electronic Message Signs (EMSs). For the sake of consistency, throughout this report they are referred to as Changeable Messages Signs (CMSs)—which is the way that the Federal Highway Administration's "Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices" (MUTCD, 2007) refers to them.

The two types of CMS investigated in this study were as follows:

  • A static CMS—which displays information on a single CMS. This is the way that CMSs are most commonly used on U.S. roads.
  • A dual-phase CMS—which displays information in two phases, sequentially, on a single CMS. This type of CMS is used when the information to be displayed does not all fit into the dimensions of a single static CMS.

The study compared the effectiveness of using a single dual-phase CMS to display the same airline information as was displayed on two static CMSs.

January 26th, 2010 Presentation


Kathleen Harder - Director, Center for Design in Health, University of Minnesota
Introduction by Cassandra Isackson

Technical Summary: 201002TS (PDF, 2 pages, 600 KB)

Presentation Recording (99MB, .wmv)

Related Research

The Effectiveness and Safety of Traffic and Non-Traffic Related Messages Presented on Changeable Message Signs: Phase II

Researchers evaluated how reducing the complexity and ambiguity of CMS messages would affect driver behavior and traffic flow, and learned that clarifying message content could lead to significant improvements in CMS safety and effectiveness.

Technical Summary: 200827TS (PDF, 2 pages, 438 KB)
Full Report: 200827(PDF, 84 pages, 469 KB)