The idea of having glow-in-the-dark roads seems like something out of science fiction. However this is a case where science fiction has made its way into real-life, as there is now a road that has these very markings on it in the Netherlands.
The idea first came to fruition back in 2012. Unlike cats’ eyes, which only let a driver set specific glowing points in the road, these glowing roads use a series of lines that stretch off into the distance when a car’s headlights hit them. The road has three sets of green lines at either edge, embedded into the tarmac so they do not provide a tripping hazard. They are quite small to look at but when viewed from inside a car at night as the headlights touch on them, they glow a bright green colour that cannot be missed.
The company that created it also has plans for other methods that can be used to make the roads safer. One example is that of dynamic paint, which can be painted onto roads and only seen in certain conditions. For example, ice crystals can be painted on the road but they will only be visible if the temperature drops low enough to make ice a possibility.
How could glow-in-the-dark roads make driving safer?
Driving at night comes with its own set of risks. This is particularly true if there is no street lighting as you are essentially driving in the dark with nothing but your own headlights to show you where to go. The glow-in-the-dark roads in the Netherlands could end up being a major improvement to safety, and it will be interesting to see whether accident rates go down at night thanks to them being in place. It may only be one road at present, but hopefully the scheme will expand.
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