Pavement Markings in the Rain: Where Did They Go?

March 29, 2018

 

Weather can change everything. Temporary conditions caused by nature can affect the functioning of most anything - and highways are not immune. When it's raining, many times the pavement markings on the road can be nearly impossible to see. Does the highway need new striping, or is there another reason for the low visibility?

 

 

What makes pavement markings visible in normal conditions?

Pavement markings are made visible and reflective by adding small glass beads to the highway striping paint. These glass beads reflect drivers’ headlights back to them, making the markings visible.

 

pavement markings in normal conditions 

 

Why can't I see pavement marking when it's raining?

When pavement markings become covered by water during rain, they no longer reflect light back to drivers’ eyes.

 

pavement markings in the rain 

New reflective materials are being used in permanent pavement markings on many different roadways. These materials are more visible during wet conditions. Unfortunately, during heavy rains the pavement markings may become flooded and, therefore, less visible.