New asphalt technology ensures rapid dispersal and drainage of surface water, reducing water spray and therefore, improving visibility for the driver in wet conditions. The porous asphalt materials dramatically reduce blinding spray, and by dispersing surface water they also reduce the risk of aquaplaning and increase the visibility of road markings.
The variety of asphalt mixtures offers specifiers the right solution for all types of road and weather conditions, maximising safety for all road users. Although we talk about ‘asphalt’, there is a wide range of types and mixtures available, all of which have qualities tailored for specific applications. For example there are asphalt mixtures that allow heavy rain to drain swiftly from the surface. There are also mixtures that can be designed to a texture on the asphalt surface with high skid resistance for areas likely to experience hard braking. (Fit for tomorrow – Asphalt Paving: Safe, Comfortable, Sustainable; EAPA & Eurobitume Brochure 2011)
The smooth surface of asphalt provides maximum tire contact with the roadway, increasing skid resistance. (from: www.apai.net/asphaltbenefits.aspx)
Coloured asphalt is also used to alert driver attention to dangerous areas, such as hidden junctions or sharp bends, as well as areas requiring special safety precautions, such as outside schools.
Fast construction of asphalt roads means shorter time for the workers on the construction site. They “get in and get out”, and this significantly reduces safety risks both for the workers and the road users.
The contrast of the black pavement and white lines make it easier for motorists to understand driving and parking regulations – making asphalt a safer pavement. (from: http://www.alphapavingtexas.com/faq-answer/what-are-the-main-benefits-of-asphalt)
Another recent asphalt advance has been the development of coloured or textured surfaces. These are increasingly used as a safety mechanism to make it easier for drivers to identify lanes set aside for special uses, such as bus lanes, bus stops and cycle paths.