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Wrong-lane rumble strips

  (+3, -1)
(+3, -1)
  [vote for,

This is for those times when you're driving down a hundred-mile-long stretch of highway in the middle of the night and you begin to doze off. Ordinarily this would be a very dangerous situation because you could drift into the other lane and potentially run into other drivers. However, if there were a foot-wide rumble strip between the two lanes, you would be awakened by the rumbling sound before you got too far into the other driver's space.
Rubi, Jan 23 2004

Road Tunes http://www.halfbake...m/idea/Road_20tunes
for [franko] [Worldgineer, Oct 04 2004]


       Don't highways near you have those little reflective bumps on the center lines? Very much like rumble strips, but also reflective.
Worldgineer, Jan 23 2004

       Nice idea...already exists in Israeli highways (implemented in recent years).   

       ..although only on the margin, not between lanes.
IM29, Jan 23 2004

       Baked in many places. Very common on state 2 laners in Pennsylvania. They aren't a foot wide - they only have to be a couple inches or so.
waugsqueke, Jan 23 2004

       haven't seen this baked on interstates, only on the margins and the PA state routes [waug] mentions...i would like to see this on our highways, i know i tend to nod when driving long distances at night (or during the day, if the distance is long enough)
buddymatt, Jan 23 2004

       buddymatt - if you tend to nod, then I recommend you have some carbohydrates - Atkins be damned. Even if it means stopping at McDonalds and getting some fries. Better than the alternative.
thumbwax, Jan 23 2004

       I have to agree with [thumbwax]. As a society, we'd probably want to go back to cobblestones if sleepdriving became a much bigger problem. And for those who have a really hard time staying awake behind the wheel, I'd recommend putting foot-wide rumble strips on their tires instead.   

       Now, replace all sidewalks with a rumble divider and you really open things up for everyone.   

       But I thought it was "rumple" strip. Will someone from NASCAR help me please? NASA? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
Kitchensink, Jan 24 2004

       //but you do need to cross between lanes, such as when overtaking.//   

       (sorry, I accidentally deleted the annotation that this qoute is taken from, I waas going for the "annotate" button and hit delete instead.)   

       If you're passing someone you would simply ignore the rumble noise. You only need it when you're drifting into sleep, and any other time you just don't pay attention to it.   

       Around where I live they do have rumbles on the margins as well as reflectors between lanes, but the marginal rumbles don't prevent crossover into other drivers' lanes, and the reflectors only work if you're looking for them, which I doubt you're doing if you're half asleep.
Rubi, Jan 24 2004

       You talking about Botts dots?
waugsqueke, Jan 24 2004

       Ive seen this baked in the middle and on the shoulders of many highways in California.
KLRico, Jan 24 2004

       [Rubi] They do more than reflect. Have you ever driven over them? They rumble, because they are bumps.
Worldgineer, Jan 24 2004

       I saw another take on this - a narrow rumble strip in the MIDDLE of a lane. An N-lane road needs N+1 strips if they are between lanes and at the edges of the outside lanes, but only N strips if they are in the middles of travel lanes. A bit rough on motorcycles, though.
leej, Jan 24 2004

       WHY NOT use variations in the width of the ridges to create sounds... so it's not just 'rumble'rumble'rumble' but instead you hear 'WAKE UP.. WRONG WAY... DANGER.'   

       of course... that may lead to hackers putting down different messages in the middle of the night...   

       and then, there are the copyright issues.... so we can't have a 'happy birthday lane'
franko, May 05 2004

       Don't know how related this is, but around me, the roads are extremely worn by heavy traffic, making them rough and noisy. I routinely drive very close to the neighboring lane so that my tires run along the unworn center of the lane and the unworn lane-divider. The occasional "thumpthump....thumpthump....thumpthump..." of the road turtles is less annoying than the "BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR" of the normal road. As a plus (to me, anyway) it keeps other drivers from hanging out in my blind spot.
Freefall, May 05 2004

       Gets my vote - I just did that very thing, and not in the middle of the night, either. No idea what actually what woke me up again, but I came to facing the driver of an oncoming car. (Fortunately, I was able to recover to my side of the road, with damage only our respective wing/side mirrors, and our nerves.)   

       (Oddly, the same road did have rumble strips, but only where a central turning lane ran down the middle.)
DrCurry, May 21 2008

       [+]I would say that if you are lane drifting, you need to roll down the windows, blast your favorite song on the radio or simply take a break. On the other hand, I'll bun it because I think that the rumble strip can have a dual purpose. Not only will it alert you if you drift (for other reasons other than fatigue) but it can give you confirmation that you have completely changed lanes. This can also serve as a que to remind you to turn off your turn signal.
Jscotty, May 21 2008

       You need to be alerted, flat out. I had no idea I was nodding off, and have no recollection of doing so, only of waking up in dire peril.
DrCurry, May 22 2008

       The west coast has these on every major road. I just realized why they may be unfamiliar on the east coast: Snow. I'm sure where snowplows are used these things pop off like popcorn.   

       One technology I've seen lately is the opposite: they grind divots into the roadway. You still get a rumble-strip effect, but there's nothing for the snowplows to hit.
Worldgineer, May 23 2008

       When I saw the title of this idea, I thought it was for rumble strips that were contoured so as to be much 'rumblier' in one direction than the other. That could certainly be accomplished if the rumble strip had some moving parts, but could cause problems if the strip wears out or jams.   

       I would expect one could construct a strip that would be rumblier in one direction than the other, but I don't know that a strip could be made reliably rumbly on one direction without being noticeable in the other.
supercat, May 23 2008


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