As you are driving you’ll see reflective road studs marking the road. These are also called reflective studs and cat’s eyes, because as you approach them they look like a pair of cat’s eyes on the road, and they originated in the United Kingdom back in 1933.
The cat’s eye is what’s called a retro-reflective safety device – it reflects light back to the source (i.e. your headlights). Originally they were only used down the centre of the road whereby one cat’s eye had four glass spheres set into a white rubber dome, two spheres facing each direction up the road. This dome is mounted in a cast iron housing, and deformation of the rubber as traffic passes over it allows it to sink into the housing where a fixed wiper cleans the glass spheres. In general the road studs are robust, however, a famous UK drum and bass DJ, Kemistry, was killed on April 25, 1999 when a van dislodged the metal casing of a road stud which flew up and went through the windscreen of the car she was a passenger in.
Intelligent road studs have been invented such as a flashing blue stud that only activates at temperatures below 3 degrees Celsius – the temperature at which ice is likely to form. Other proposals for road studs include smart timing to allow drivers to judge their distance behind the vehicle in front. For example, as a vehicle passes the road stud it will change colour for a pre-set number of seconds before changing back again.
Other countries have different types of reflective road studs. For example, New Zealand has raised studs that don’t retract into the ground on motorways.
Road studs act as an audible and sensor notification that a driver is wandering out of the lane, and they can be used in conjunction with rumble strips which are corrugated lines that make a noise when drivers drive on them.
Road Studs and road delineators are designed to provide a clear, definitive outline of pavement markings. They provide visibility to catch the eye of vehicle drivers as they indicate as a permanent marker, even under adverse visibility conditions such as rain, fog, and darkness.
The purpose of pavement reflectors is to help drivers see lanes better and sooner, especially when it’s raining. Using different types of road studs and delineators can be expected to give different results for daytime and night-time delineation.
Total Road Products has over 20 years’ experience in the road visibility. Total Road Products is South Africa's leading, totally objective supplier of top quality road marking products to enhance night and day visibility which have an influence on road safety.