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Mid-America Transportation Center

Closed Course Testing of Portable Rumble Strips to Improve Truck Safety at Work Zones

Final Report
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Researchers

  • Principal Investigator: Steven Schrock (schrock@ku.edu (785) 864-3418)
  • Co-Principal Investigator: Yong Bai (ybai@ku.edu (785)864-2991)
  • Graduate Students
  • Romika Jasrotia
  • Matthew Maksimowicz
  • Matthew Becker
  • Kathry Euson
  • Matthew Becker
  • Matthew Maksimowicz
  • Undergraduate Students
  • Garret Hages
  • Garret Hages
  • Kathry Euson
  • Project Status
    Complete
    Sponsors & Partners
  • Kansas Department of Transportation
  • Mid-America Transportation Center
  • Kansas Transportation Research and New Development Program
  • About this Project
    Brief Project Description & Background
    Work zone safety is of paramount importance for both drivers and workers, and vehicle speeds are directly proportional to such safety. At flagger controlled work zones, the failure of approaching vehicles to stop can result in severe crashes if a stationary queue is present. If the oncoming vehicle is a large truck, such a crash could involve many more vehicles. Consequently alerting truck drivers at these locations can improve safety. This project will aid in the development of a field-ready portable temporary rumble strip unit.
    Research Objective
    The objective of this research is to aid in the development of a prototype temporary resuable rumble strip unit for warning traffic - primarily trucks - of upcoming short-term work zones. The specific objective of this research is to conduct a series of closed-course tests to ensure that the design is effective and does not pose a hazard prior to field installations.
    Potential Benefits
    A temporary resuable rumble strip unit has the potential of improving worker and driver safety at short-term work zones, particularly flagger-operated work zones that may result in unexpected queuing. The rumble strip unit could be an effective method of alterting drivers they are approaching the work zone. Becuase heavy trucks striking the back of the queue has the potential to be very destructive, this research has great potential to improving safety by mitigating truck-related crashes.
    Abstract
    Work zone safety is of paramount importance for both drivers and workers, and vehicle speeds are directly proportional to such safety. At flagger controlled work zones, the failure of approaching vehicles to stop can result in severe crashes if a stationary queue is present. If the oncoming vehicle is a large truck, such a crash could involve many more vehicles. Consequently alerting truck drivers at these locations can drastically improve safety. Separately, rumble strips, in a variety of capacities, have been proven as an effective means of alerting drivers, and it is conjectured that portable rumble strips could serve as an additional alert to motorists as they approach a work zone. As the research progresses toward a field ready proof of concept, the researchers desire to be able to assess field durability and anchoring systems on a closed course. After the conclusion of this research, it is expected to have a field ready design for implementation.
    Project Amount
    $ 120,000
    Modal Orientation
  • Pavements
  • Safety and Human Performance
  • Work Zones