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Essential Features of Traffic Safety Systems

Traffic safety systems must incorporate certain features in order to do their job.  America's infrastructure is always expanding, spurred on by a growing population and economic development.  The products that help to ensure public safety must function with this need in mind.  This post will look at the common design elements that help to achieve this goal.

Uniformity

There's a reason why every stop sign in America is identical.  Studies show that human beings recognize symbols more quickly when they vary as little as possible from place to place.  The MUTCD specifies shapes, colors, graphics, and other features of traffic safety systems in order to ensure uniform, easily recognizable characteristics across geographical distances.

Durability

To do their job, traffic safety systems must stay on the job 24/7 for as long as possible.  Even brief downtimes to replace damaged or defective components can compromise public safety to some degree.  Achieving long-term durability requires not only sturdy materials, but also a degree of flexibility in design and installation.  Just as a tree can survive a fierce storm by bending a little, so traffic safety systems must have a little "give" to prevent needless damage.

Reliability

As America's driving population ages, traffic safety systems will need to be more visible.  The best way to achieve higher visibility is to add flashing lights and similar components.  However, these features rely on electric and/or electronic components, which must function with minimal maintenance in all types of conditions.

Affordability

Highway departments rarely receive the lion's share of public funding.  The tools they employ to achieve their goals must therefore fit within constricted budgets without compromising quality.  This can create severe challenges for product designers, who must balance cost against performance.

The modern world could not function without traffic safety systems.  Assuring these products serve their purpose requires designing and building them with the above principles in mind.