The Department of Transportation is set to install new "low-noise" rumble strips on Western Montana highways this spring.
Missoula District Construction Engineer John Schmidt says drivers will hear and feel them just the same, but "The people outside the vehicle will experience less noise. It's an added benefit to neighbors."
According to a report from the Highway Loss Data Institute, Montana had the sixth highest motor vehicle crash death rate by population in the U.S. in 2019.
A study from the Federal Highway Administration showed that rumble strips reduce roadway departure crashes by as much as 42% and severe injury crashes by as much as 73%. The Washington State Department of Transportation also conducted a study that concluded that low-noise rumble strips effectively reduce outside noise while maintaining sufficient sound levels inside the vehicle.
"We just ask that people focus on the road when they're in the construction zone and try to keep everybody safe," Schmidt says.