How retroreflectivity enhances road sign safety.

May 24, 2016 3M Canada

Reflective traffic sign

Brighter Signs Mean Safer Roads

How important are brighter signs?

A University of Iowa study has illuminated a strong relationship that exists between a sign’s brightness and a driver’s ability to not only see the sign, but perhaps more importantly, to also recognize its message.

Participants were able to read and understand brighter signs substantially better, suggesting that brighter signs help drivers stay more focused on the task of driving – an especially important advantage when driving at night.

Traffic signs that seem similar during the day may perform quite differently at night

The two pictures below were taken with a regular point-and-shoot camera on an April day. Both pictures were taken at the same location on the side of the road, with the car headlights on, using no flash on the camera.

Reflective traffic sign

traffic sign

The left sign is old, made with engineer grade reflective sheeting, while the sign on the right was replaced with 3M™ Diamond Grade™ DG3 Reflective Sheeting. Notice how both signs are visible during the day, but see the improved performance of Diamond Grade full cube prismatic reflective sheeting after dark.

Boosting road sign visibility with 3M™ Diamond Grade™ DG3 Sheeting

3M™’s “full-cube” microprisms are nearly 100 percent efficient, retroreflecting almost all the light that strikes them.

When this technology is incorporated into 3M™ Diamond Grade™ DG3 Reflective Sheeting, it greatly increases the brightness of road signs – returning several times more light than glass beads and nearly twice as much light as truncated cube corner optics.

3M™’s full-cube construction also accommodates the wide range of observation angles from different size vehicles and entrance angles.

Improve traffic and road sign visibility at critical distances

3M™ Diamond Grade™ DG3 Sheeting helps improve safety by providing luminance at the distance most critical to drivers—500 feet (150 meters) and closer.

In studies, reflective sheeting like DG3 reduced crashes 25–48 percent at a better than 10:1 cost-benefit ratio.

At twice the brightness of lower grade sheeting, 3M™ Diamond Grade™ DG3 Sheeting is ideal for all kinds of roadway signage and even signs in the most disadvantaged locations perform better.

Interested in learning more about traffic safety and signage?

Click here to view and download the full ‘Brighter Signs, Safer Roads’ ebook

Join the traffic safety and signage community by signing up for our mailing list. You’ll receive communications with information relevant to your industry.

 

Contact 3M™ Canada’s Traffic Safety and Signage professionals today. Call 1-800-364-3577.

About the Author

3M Canada

[enBio=Across the globe, 3M helps companies and individuals succeed every day. All while contributing to true global sustainable development through environmental protection, corporate and social responsibility and economic progress. We are applying our science to make a real impact in every person's life around the world.],[enJob=Science. Applied to Life.],[frBio=Chaque jour, 3M aide les entreprises et les gens à réussir. Tout cela en contribuant au développement durable réel par le biais de la protection de l'environnement, la responsabilité sociale en entreprise et le progrès économique. Nous appliquons notre science afin de faire une différence réel dans la vie de chaque personne dans le monde.],[frJob=]

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