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Impactable Delineators Bend Rather Than Break

Impactable delineators serve a vital role in safeguarding the driving public.  They alert motorists to approaching dangers and help guide them along safe routes of travel.  By their very nature, delineators are classified as guidance devices, rather than impediments to access.  In practical terms, they’re meant more as a friendly reminder than a stern rebuke.  For this reason, flexibility is an inherent part of their design, since eventually a confused, errant, or impaired motorist will strike one of these devices.

The chief asset of impactable delineators is their ability to reflect light.  This makes them especially effective at night and during periods of inclement weather.  They can serve as stand-alone measures or work in concert with other types of signs.

Impactable Delineator Placement

The MUTCD specifies placing delineators 4 feet above the surrounding roadway and between 2-8 feet outside the road shoulder.  It’s important for installation crews to maintain a consistent location for impactable delineators unless other road features or obstructions prohibit this.

Inspectors should examine impactable delineators as soon as possible after installation, preferably after sundown, to ensure they’re installed as effectively as possible.  When placed along an curving section of road, the radius of the curve should guide delineator location.

Retroreflectivity Standards for Flexible Delineators

Depending on the needs at hand, flexible delineators may occasionally require retroreflective elements or, conversely, a single vertically elongated element.  Delineators should be capable of reflecting the light from a set of headlamp beams from as far away as 1,000 feet.  The retroreflective elements should be 3 inches or more in width.  

Delineators are especially important when placed along acceleration or deceleration lanes.  Crews should install either double-element or elongated-element delineators at 100 foot intervals in such areas.

Flexible delineators serve an important role in today’s transportation infrastructure.  When properly manufactured and installed, they save lives every year.