Recent bouts of wintry weather coincided with several fatal accidents in Iowa. But Department of Transportation Information Officer Scott Falb says many bad crashes not blamed on the weather begin with a simple error like a driver letting a car drift off the pavement onto the shoulder of the road. They jerk the wheel hard back to the left — and cross over the center line or even the median, and risk hitting an oncoming vehicle going the other way.
Falb says that’s one reason the D-O-T’s undertaken a highway improvement program that’s paving part of the shoulders. Where there is a paved surface on the shoulder, workers grind in some “rumble strips” that’ll create a loud noise if wheels roll over them, to help prevent a driver from driving off the roadway to the right, or drifting that direction and trying to recover and going out of control.
They may be irrititating or startling, but Falb says being corrected by a rumble strip is the most benign thing that can happen to you if you drift out of your proper lane.