About the research
Rural intersections account for 30% of crashes in rural areas and 6% of all fatal crashes, representing a significant but poorly understood safety problem. Crashes at rural intersections are particularly problematic when high speeds on intersection approaches are present. Fatal injury crash rates are two times higher in rural than in urban areas. Drivers failing to stop on the minor approach account for 25% of right angle crashes and are more likely to result in injuries than crashes where drivers stopped. Characteristics correlated to failure to yield right-of-way include age, speeding, vision obstruction, and inattention/distraction. Rural intersection crashes in 2018 cost the state of Minnesota an estimated $90,000,000. Transverse rumble strips (TRS) are a low cost countermeasure widely deployed in some states (e.g., Iowa) and have the advantage of being effective in low visibility conditions (e.g., rain, fog, darkness). The primary purpose of TRS are to decrease crashes due to running the stop sign and aren’t generally expected to reduce crashes where inappropriate gaps were selected. However, TRS are often applied at high-crash locations that may lessen their effectiveness if the primary crash type is due to gap selection. Additionally, no consistency exists in the placement or pattern for TRS among or within agencies across the US. As a result, research is needed to assess the effectiveness of TRS and to evaluate whether different designs encourage driver behaviors that may lead to reduced crashes. Design includes placement (location in relation to the stop sign), number of panels (set of grooves), and pattern (i.e., length, number of grooves, distance between grooves).