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How Pavement Marking Makes Roads Safer

September 23, 2019

Streets are safer with pavement markings, which add extra clarity to the directives motorists read from signs. Nearly every 20 minutes, a death occurs from a lane change on a highway, according to the Federal Highway Administration. There are national standards for centerlines and edge lines, yet accidents can still occur for many reasons, such as if the driver is drunk or distracted. Nevertheless, studies show that pavement marking is part of the solution to reduce accidents.

School and Hospital Safety

Two of the most important places that absolutely need pavement markings are schools and hospitals, especially for parking lots. Ambulances must be able to have easy access to emergency rooms, as pavement markings can clarify what lanes and areas are off-limits to the public. Schools needs these markings for crosswalks and bicycle lanes, as well as parking lots. You create safer traffic conditions when you place as many safety reminders about children at or near a school.

Making Rural Roads Safer

One of the keys to reducing crashes in rural areas is to add more definitive pavement markings, such as edge lines. Studies show that adding edge lines to narrow roads in rural areas reduces crashes and fatalities. Even two-lane roads with widths of only 18 feet can be made safer by adding edge lines, which make lanes more visible at night. Widening the lanes would also make these roads safer.

Safer Highways

A strategy that has proven to reduce traffic accidents on major highways is adding a 4-foot shoulder on each side of the road. Another successful idea has been adding 6-inch edge lines on all main highways. Guardrails and medians provide further protection. In other words, there are known ways to keep fatalities to a minimum on freeways. The Federal Highway Administration has called pavement markings a big part of the equation for keeping drivers on the road.

More Orderly Parking

There’s a big difference between a parking lot with striped slots for individual vehicles and wide open gravel and weeds where anyone can park anywhere. The lot with stripes is going to be more orderly and fit more cars than the free-for-all model. The orderly parking lot is also less likely to have an accident, whereas the disorderly parking lot is an accident waiting to happen. Striping is particularly important for apartment complexes, where each tenant gets a specific numbered parking space.

Markings on roadways are useful for reminding people that certain parking spaces are for certain people only, such as spaces for handicapped individuals. You may want to reserve parking places for employees or identify loading zones for trucks.


If you manage roads, you know the importance of keeping markings visible to drivers. These messages should always be easy to read and should help promote safer driving conditions. To learn more about reasons for using pavement marking, contact Zumar at our Arizona, Washington or California location.

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