Retroreflectivity & Sign Visibility
Sign visibility in construction, school and pedestrian zones has always been a big priority for increasing safety. With advances in technology, there are better options available to help decrease the likelihood of accidents. To understand reflectivity and visibility, it is helpful to understand a few important terms first.
Sheeting – is the front of the sign that is attached to the substrate. The sheeting helps determine both the retroreflectivity and the sturdiness of the sign. The majority of traffic signs are required to be reflective according to the the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and OSHA.
Retroreflectivity – retroreflectivity is a measure of a materials’s a ability to reflect light back to its originating source and affects the visibility of the sign it’s used on. Engineer grade reflective was once the standard for sheeting material on reflective signs but new FHWA regulations have replaced this material with materials like High-Intensity (Prismatic) Reflective and Diamond Grade Reflective. Prismatic reflective sheeting meets all of the FHWA, MUTCD and OSHA requirements. Diamond Grade Reflective is now the standard used when very high retroreflectivity is needed to ensure greater visibility. Hilly roadways, roads with sharp turns and/or really dim lit roads are all candidates for this type of sheeting material.
Traffic Safety Warehouse carries a huge assortment Engineer Grade products, High Intensity Prismatic Sheeting products and Diamond Grade Sheeting safety products including barricades, channelizers and diamond grade tape. If you have questions concerning which is the most appropriate grade for your project, just give us a call.
More Resources on Sign Reflectivity and Visibility Requirements:
FHWA Sign Retroreflectivity Requirements
OSHA Safety Requirements for Signs, Signals and Barricades