New Safer Roads Campaign Product Shows Importance of Rumble Strips on American Indian Reservations
(Washington, DC) — The Roadway Safety Foundation (RSF) today announced that its Rumble on the Reservation educational DVD is available for ordering and shipping, free of charge.
“We are very pleased to be able to provide the public with this product,” RSF Executive Director Greg Cohen said. “The American Indian population faces a motor vehicle crash fatality rate nearly double the national average, and rumble strips are an affordable and highly-effective way to address this problem.”
Rumble strips are raised or grooved patterns in the pavement that can be installed along the edgeline of a roadway, or down the centerline of an undivided highway in areas where head-on crashes are of concern. They have been proven to be up to 80 percent effective in reducing single-vehicle run-off-the-road crashes. The noise and vibration generated by driving over a rumble strip act as alarms for drivers, letting them know of an imminent lane departure while there is still time to take corrective action and avoid a crash. To add a visual element to this safety feature, edge or centerlines can be painted onto the grooves themselves, thereby creating a rumble stripe. The vertical edges of the grooves on which the stripes are painted allow the lines to pick up and reflect headlight beams better than they can on a flat surface. Rumble strips may also help drivers locate the edge of the travel lane at night or during other periods of reduced visibility, such as in rain, fog, or snow.
The 11-minute DVD introduces audiences to American Indian communities that have seen motor vehicle crashes, injuries, and fatalities plummet after incorporating rumble strips into roadway safety projects on tribal lands. Transportation planners and safety experts from various American Indian communities, as well as the Federal government, explain the versatility and cost-effectiveness of this safety device, and provide real-world examples of where they have seen rumble strips successfully deployed.
Among the various reasons that American Indian communities stand to benefit so greatly from rumble strips is that many tribal lands are served primarily by two-lane rural roads, which are the type most severely plagued by high fatality rates and elevated risks of roadway departures. This is because rural highways are often narrow, with high speed limits, limited sight distances, frequent curves, and abundant trees or other roadside hazards. In other words, there’s little room for error. In fact, 60 percent of fatal crashes are roadway departure crashes, with a roadway departure fatality crash occurring every 23 minutes.
“The fact that American Indian communities suffer such a disproportionate burden of the cost and suffering associated with traffic crashes is an outrage,” Cohen said. “We hope that this DVD will catch the attention of people who can make a real difference in communities across the country by pushing for this cost-effective and easy-to-install crash countermeasure that saves lives.”
Rumble on the Reservation was produced in conjunction with Michigan Technological University’s Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP), and was officially unveiled at an RSF display booth at the 13th Annual National Tribal Transportation Conference, November 15-18, 2010 in Albuquerque, NM. A corresponding brochure is being printed and will be available shortly. If you are interested in obtaining a copy of this valuable resource, please contact Cathy Gillen at the address listed above.
RSF is the only national organization solely dedicated to reducing deaths by improving the physical characteristics of America’s roadways - design and engineering, operating conditions, removal of roadside hazards, and the effective use of safety features. RSF works to attain its goals by building awareness through media campaigns and outreach activities, developing educational materials, and forming partnerships. It is a private non-profit 501(c) (3) organization.