Worldwide statistics prove that the number of accidents is much higher at night, and higher still in rainy and wet road conditions due to reduced visibility. In addition, headlamp glare and reflected light further distract the driver.
In March 2003, a new technology called Pathfinder, a textured cold plastic road marking, was installed in Cheshire County, U.K., on the dual carriageway A 556. This road is a well-known, highly traveled, accident-prone area with average daily traffic over 23,000. A two-mile stretch was chosen to demonstrate the performance of this cold plastic structure marking. In the 19 months before installation, 16 accidents (14 slight, two serious and four in wet, dark conditions) occurred. In the 36 months following the installation, only six minor accidents were reported and none occurred in wet night situations. This safety measure saved Cheshire County approximately $1.5 million.
Pathfinder technology provides increased wet night visibility. Water flows off the raised marking, allowing the glass beads to remain above the water surface and reflect headlamp light to the motorist. Older road markings typically disappear under a layer of water. Additionally, benefits of cold plastic structure markings include extended durability and UV resistance.
In all, these products offer many advantages to agencies commissioning road markings, enabling them to derive maximum benefits for the budget funds employed.