Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center

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Safety Evaluation of Edge-Line Rumble Stripes on Rural Two-Lane Horizontal Curves

Product Type

Research Report


Scott Himes, Frank Gross, Bhagwant Persaud, and Kimberly Eccles




The Development of Crash Modification Factors (DCMF) program conducted safety evaluations of edge-line rumble stripes (ELRSs) on rural two-lane horizontal curves for the Evaluation of Low-Cost Safety Improvements Pooled Fund Study. This study evaluated the application of ELRSs on rural two-lane horizontal curves. ELRSs are a variation of common shoulder rumble strips used to alert drowsy or distracted drivers when they are leaving the travel lane to the right. ELRSs are installed with the edge-line pavement marking placed directly over the rumble strip. Geometric, traffic, and crash data were obtained at treated rural two-lane horizontal curves in Kentucky and Ohio. To account for potential selection bias and regression-to-the-mean, an empirical Bayes before–after analysis was conducted using reference groups of untreated rural horizontal curves with similar characteristics to the treated sites. The analysis also controlled for changes in traffic volumes over time and time trends in crash counts unrelated to the treatment. Owing to a small sample for the reference group in Kentucky and a simultaneous statewide curve warning sign upgrade program in Ohio, alternative reference sites were used to account for annual trends. The results for Kentucky indicated statistically significant reductions for total, injury, run-off-road (ROR), and nighttime crashes, with crash modification factors (CMFs) of 0.75, 0.64, 0.74, and 0.63, respectively. The results for Ohio indicated statistically significant reductions for all crash types, with total, injury, ROR, nighttime, and nighttime ROR CMFs of 0.79, 0.79, 0.78, 0.75, and 0.71, respectively. The two States’ results could not be combined because of the statewide curve signing program in Ohio. It is important to note that all crash types considered in this research excluded intersection-related and animal crashes. Benefit–cost (B/C) ratios were estimated to be 331:1 for Kentucky and 477:1 for Ohio. If ELRSs were used as a curve-specific treatment, the B/C ratio would likely be much smaller because of the higher installation cost; however, these results suggest that the treatment can be highly cost effective.

Link To Research Report

Safety Evaluation of Edge-Line Rumble Stripes on Rural Two-Lane Horizontal Curves


two-lane rural roads
horizontal curves
distracted driver
rumble strips
rumble stripes
safety improvements
empirical Bayesian

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