Among the many factors that contribute to road and highway safety, good road marking solutions are some of the most important. Easily visible road marking helps to keep drivers from making potentially dangerous mistakes, whether that means drifting into other lanes or hooking a wheel over the edge of a steep shoulder. Although few drivers think much about the subject, pavement marking is one of a number of things that helps to keep accident rates down.

The field of road marking is also one that is more advanced than many would suppose. Far from being crude, simple paint, the materials used for most such projects are precisely tuned to the requirements of the application. That includes everything from working well with the machines that are typically used to apply them to standing up to traffic and catching the eyes of drivers without being a distraction.

With regard to formulating a paint such that it can be properly applied by a specialized road painting machine, for example, there are a number of important considerations. One of the most obvious of these is that the paint must dry relatively quickly, because paint that does not will be susceptible to a whole range of environmental hazards.

Another is that the paint must not contribute to clogging of the often-delicate equipment that is used to apply it. Paint that does so would greatly inflate the costs associated with the work, while also slowing down progress and thereby keeping roads closed for too long.

Paint designed for this purpose must also stand up to the stresses inevitably imposed on it by traffic. Lines that divide lanes running in the same direction, for example, will be crossed hundreds of times per day by vehicles weighing thousands of pounds. Conventional paints would quickly wear down to nothing under such traffic, but those designed for the purpose can often stand up for many years without trouble.

While an incredible amount of work goes into creating paint that is up to the rigors of the application, then, that is hardly the end of the story. In fact, just as much thought and effort goes into creating other kinds of markings, such as those composed of thermoplastic. Just as important as paint-based markings but based on a fundamentally different approach, creating these alternatives also involves an incredible amount of work. Even though drivers might not often give them much direct thought, then, the work put into creating markings of all of these kinds pays off greatly in terms of safety.