Transportation Research Group's work with MDOT results in national award
The Michigan Department of Transportation has won a national safety award for installing 5,700 miles of "rumble strips" down centerlines of Michigan's rural highways. MDOT is one of 10 agencies recognized this year for "innovative, lifesaving projects and programs" that focus on roadway safety. When looking at crash data from 2004 to 2007, MDOT officials determined that lane departure had contributed to nearly half of the fatal crashes in that period. To address this concern, they embarked on a statewide effort to install rumble strips on all non-freeway, high-speed rural roads managed by MDOT between 2008 and 2010. The centerline rumble strips were placed on all MDOT's rural, non-freeway highways with posted speed limits of 55 mph and appropriate paved lane and shoulder widths. The project also included the installation of about 1,700 miles of shoulder rumble strips. A March 2015 study on the initiative conducted by Wayne State University's Transportation Research Group found that, after it was completed, the "target crashes" along the impacted roads were reduced by 47 percent. Fatal crashes, according to the study, where reduced by 51 percent.