North Carolina is getting ready to spend millions to make highways in the state safer.
The state highway department last month approved spending $7 million over the next two years to cut the number of fatal accidents caused by sleepy drivers.
The money will be used to install rumble strips along the shoulder of some of North Carolina’s most heavily used highways.
Lyndo Tippett, the state’s transportation secretary, said in a statement the investment is an effort to battle one of the most common causes of traffic accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates approximately 38 percent of single-vehicle, run-off-the-road crashes are caused by motorists who are drowsy or inattentive.
“Rumble strips have a proven record of success, and the addition of these new projects will help reduce the number of crashes across the state,” Tippett said.
The new rumble strips will be installed on major interstate and U.S. routes across the state, and in most cases, on both the median and outside shoulders of the highway in both directions.
The strips – raised or rough areas of concrete or vinyl – already are used on Interstate 95.
Tippett said studies show rumble strips cut the number of run-off-the-road accidents by up to 50 percent.