Imagine that it is late at night. You’re on the road coming back from a business trip and you weren’t afforded an adequate amount of sleep. The radio isn’t doing the job and you feel yourself getting more and more drowsy as the minutes pass. Suddenly, your car veers off to the shoulder and you are jolted awake by a loud vibrating hum. You are alert and awake now that you’ve been audibly warned that your car was veering off of the road. What you just encountered are known as rumble strips, and they may have just saved your life!
Rumble strips create noise and vibration inside the vehicle which alerts the driver as they cross a centerline or edge line. This alert is often strong enough to grab the attention of a distracted, drowsy or sleeping driver. Once alerted, the driver can quickly regain control of their vehicle and return to the road safely. Rumble strips can also alert drivers when conditions such as rain, fog, snow, or dust limit and reduce visibility.
A rumble strip can also become a “rumble stripe” when an edge line or centerline pavement marking is placed on it. The profile and reflectivity of the marking within the rumble strip provides added nighttime visibility, particularly under dark, wet conditions. The movement of traffic tends to keep the rumble strip from filling with water, which causes the portion of the pavement marking on the back of the rumble strip to act as a reflector, sending light back to the vehicle. In colder climates, recessing reflectors inside the rumble stripe or groove can protect them from damage by snow plows and other equipment.
In a world in which highway driving requires your full attention, rumble strips have become absolutely crucial to the safety of all drivers.
While crashes affect every type of road user, and demographic group, three groups are more frequently affected than others:
- Young people are affected disproportionately, as crashes are the leading cause of death for people age 15 to 24. Because so many victims are young, crashes are also a leading cause of years of life lost—that is, the number of years people would have lived had they not died of an illness or injury. Crash risks for teen drivers are higher than for any other age group.
- Men die more often in crashes than women, in all categories of crashes; 71 percent of people killed in crashes are men. By crash type, the percentage of fatalities that are men ranges from 49 percent of car passenger deaths to 99 percent of large truck deaths.
- Rural road users are disproportionately affected as well. In 2015, an estimated 19 percent of the U.S. population lived in rural areas, yet almost half of roadway deaths occurred on rural roads. Rural roads are more dangerous than urban ones; for the same number of miles driven, more than twice as many people die in rural areas.
Not only do rumble strips save lives but combining the process with water blasting helps save the environment and people’s health. Respirable crystalline silica; particles that are at least 100 times smaller than an ordinary grain of sand, are created when these materials are altered via methods such as cutting, shot blasting and sand blasting. The dust these methods create can be inhaled by workers on the job site and, over time, can lead to very serious health issues such as Silicosis, Lung Cancer, COPD and Kidney Disease.
By adding water, it drastically reduces the amount of dust and respirable crystalline silica particles that are created, making it safer for workers while performing a job. The same is true with water blasting. Removing markings using ultra-high-pressure potable water ensures clean removal without the usage of harmful chemicals that can pose health risks to, not only, workers but the environment. Add in simultaneous vacuum recovery to any blasting or cutting job and you also significantly reduce the amount of residual debris leftover, leaving surfaces clean.
For over 30 years, Hog Technologies has been committed to providing solutions to the industry with safety and environmental consciousness in mind. Clean, potable water can be used in a variety of applications and it has been the base of their innovation in the road and highway sector. Whether using ultra high-pressure water to clean without damaging the surface or newer products like the Rumble Hog to cut rumble stripes, Hog Technologies continues to develop products safe for people and the environment. Their products are owned by customers in 56 countries around the world and are operating in over 80 countries, each of them using the same environmental solutions provided to keep roads and people safe.