Placement and design of milled rumble strips on centre line and shoulder: A driving simulator study

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Magnus Hjälmdahl
Håkan Sehammar
Göran Palmqvist

A driving simulator experiment was carried out in order to investigate the effects on fatigued drivers of rumble strips on narrow roads (<9 meters) on

both shoulder and centre lines. The driving simulator was an advanced moving base passenger car simulator (VTI´s third generation moving base driving simulator). Four different physical designs of milled rumble strips and two placements on shoulder were used in the experiment. Both driving behaviour (e.g. lateral position, speed, steering wheel angle) and physiological data (brain activity (EEG), eye activity (EOG) and muscle activity (EMG)) were recorded. The drivers were also asked to rate their level of sleepiness every 5 minutes during the drive. They were trained to use the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS). Data from 40 regular shift workers driving during morning hours after a full night shift were used in the analysis. The shift workers were equally distributed by gender and recruited by advertisement in the newspaper. They were paid 150 Euro for participating. The experiment was approved by an ethical committee. The experiment was carried out in two parts: the first part aimed to investigate primary effects of rumble strips, i.e. preventing an accident; the second part aimed to obtain the drivers' conscious preferences in terms of placement and design. It was concluded that despite rumble strip design and placement, rumble strips had clear alerting effects and consistently induced correct averting action. Based on the drivers' preference and the results, there seems to be no risk associated with using more aggressive rumble strips such as Swedish or Pennsylvania. Regarding the placement, there seem to be no differences and it is important to obtain the opinions of truck and bus drivers before it is possible to make a recommendation.

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