As we hit the roads every day, road safety is and should be a concern for everyone involved. While it might be a daunting task to keep every driver fully aware of their surroundings, there are some innovative pavement techniques that can make the roads much safer. Sometimes people overlook the importance of pavement markings, but they’re important for providing indicators to drivers on where to stop, turn, and drive.
Pavement markings also keep drivers informed about speed limits, crosswalks, and provide other information that drivers need to pay attention to so accidents can be prevented. Over the past few decades, the pavement marking industry has drastically changed. Nowadays, preformed tapes, thermoplastic pavement markings, and paints are common pavement markings.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the different pavement markings that have a tremendous impact on road safety. Additionally, we’ll take a look at how these innovative pavement markings can reduce accidents and increase visibility for drivers. As you become more aware of these insights, you can do your part in protecting not only yourself but other people on the road.
Innovative Pavement Markings and Techniques
With road safety continuing to be a huge concern, the pavement marking industry is doing its best to learn new and innovative pavement marking techniques to keep up. Markings need to be durable, visible, and should take into account all of the different challenges of road and traffic conditions.
Thermoplastic Pavement Markings
A mixture of synthetic resins, plasticizers, and other additives are melted together to create what is known as thermoplastic pavement markings. This mixture is then painted on the surface of the road and the substance solidifies into an extremely long-lasting and visible pavement marker after it has cooled down.
There are a variety of benefits to thermoplastic pavement markings:
Lifespan: The most apparent benefit of thermoplastic pavement markings is their lifespan. In comparison to regular paint, they can last nearly six times longer. This means you don’t have to worry about subsequent applications, which also means reduced costs.
Visibility: Thermoplastic pavement markings are easy to see, even if you’re driving in conditions with little to no light.
Skid resistance: These types of pavement markings are commonly used in slippery conditions because of their resistance to skidding.
Some of the different applications that thermoplastic pavement markings are used in are:
- Airport runways
- Parking lots
- Areas with lots of pedestrian traffic, such as crosswalks and school zones
At Transline Industries, we are a leading supplier of thermoplastic pavement marking materials and equipment. With these markings, you can rest assured in knowing roads will be safer to drive on.
As you might guess, water is the main solvent in waterborne paints. Because of this, there is a reduced environmental impact and improvement in safety for both workers who are applying it and the public who is walking over it. The eco-friendly nature of these paints lowers the amount of hazardous waste involved in the application and cleanup process. There are also a few other benefits to waterborne paints.
Reflectivity: Because of the reflective nature of waterborne paints, they are quite visible on the road, especially at night.
Durable: Waterborne paints are durable and resistant to the elements of nature, so you don’t have to worry about constantly repainting over and over.
Drying time: These paints tend to dry at a quicker rate in comparison to solvent-based paints. This is especially beneficial in high-traffic areas where roads can’t afford to be closed for extended periods of time.
Easy Cleanup: Compared to solvent-based paints, waterborne paints aren’t nearly as difficult to clean up. Their water-solubility reduces the need for using any chemicals that can have a negative impact on the environment.
Cost: Waterborne paints might be a little more expensive than solvent-based ones, but they also last a lot longer, resulting in cost savings over time.
Odor: Waterborne paints are a lot more pleasant to apply than solvent-based paints because they don’t give off as much of an odor.
Waterborne paints are used in many of the same situations that thermoplastic pavement markings are used in. You’ll commonly see waterborne paints used in:
- Parking lots
- Urban areas and environments with strict regulations
Preformed tapes are manufactured from preformed plastic material that’s designed to stick to the surface of the road using heat. More companies are using this method of pavement marking due to how easy it is to apply and how long it lasts. Preformed tapes have several benefits to consider.
Easy installation: Traditional pavement markings require the labor involved in painting and then the time it takes to dry afterward. With preformed tapes, all it takes is some specialized equipment to seal the tape to the roads. This can be perfect for companies that are dealing with strict deadlines like emergency road repairs, for example.
Durable: Preformed tapes are also highly durable and resistant to wear and tear. This makes them especially beneficial on roads that experience higher amounts of traffic.
Retroreflectivity: Preformed tapes are retroreflective, which means that the light bounces off of them back into the driver’s eyes. This makes this pavement marking solution perfect for low-light conditions.
Some of the areas where preformed tapes are useful are:
- Roadway markings
- Parking lots
- Areas where certain symbols or designs need to be made to direct traffic
Intelligent markings bring a great deal of innovation and technology to pavement markings. These markings make use of sensors and electronic components to direct traffic, increase visibility, and improve safety.
Here are a couple of highlighted benefits of intelligent markings:
Visibility: Many intelligent markings use programmed LED lighting that will either flash or change in color depending on the traffic conditions. That makes them perfect for alerting drivers of upcoming road hazards, construction zones, or stopped vehicles.
Traffic monitoring: Intelligent markings can be used effectively for monitoring the flow of traffic. For example, sometimes traffic conditions can get fairly backed up, and with intelligent markings, their sensors can detect these traffic conditions and alert drivers to prepare to stop, adjust their speed, or change lanes.
Low maintenance costs: Intelligent markings are constructed to be very durable compared to traditional markings. While the upfront costs of these markings may be more, the long-term savings are substantial.
Energy efficiency: LED lights are known to be energy-efficient products that can reduce energy costs and emissions.
Data collection: One benefit that many people don’t think about is the data collection that intelligent markings can provide. With data on traffic flow, speed, and other factors, future decisions can be made that will inevitably improve road safety.
New Innovative Pavement Techniques
New innovative pavement techniques are being designed all of the time. Solar-powered pavement markers store energy throughout the day and emit light during the night, increasing safety and visibility for all drivers. These types of markers can also change color to warn drivers of upcoming hazards.
Dynamic pavement markings can change shape and color, and can also display different messages according to specific traffic situations. These makings are controlled by sensors, wireless communication, or cameras.
Emerging Trends in Pavement Marking
Smart technologies are becoming more and more popular in just about every industry. In the pavement marking industry, we’re seeing more LED signs, flashing beacons, radar speed signs, and lane separators. These can improve the safety and efficiency of pavement parking on most roads. They can also give detailed insights and feedback on how roads can be improved.
New pavement marking materials are being constantly developed to ensure safer roads for drivers. As a premier manufacturer and distributor of traffic control products, signs, and pavement marking equipment, we at Transline Industries are committed to staying at the forefront of the industry by offering the latest innovative pavement marking solutions to our clients. Contact us today to learn more about our products and how we can help you with your pavement marking needs.