New Project: Pavement Marking/Colored Pavement Friction Differential and Product Durability

Pavement markings contain glass media to provide retroreflectivity. These markings are slipperier than surrounding pavement. The sudden difference in friction between pavement and pavement markings can create a safety hazard for pedestrians (including those with disabilities), bicyclists and motorcyclists, especially during wet conditions.

New products for pavement markings and colored pavement that provide additional friction have been introduced and show evidence of being durable. MnDOT has used some of these products, but the friction differential between pavement markings, colored pavements and the surrounding pavement is not known. More data about friction differentials will determine how travelers perceive and interact with differences in pavement surfaces as they cross them.

“This study investigates the frictional changes for a traveler transitioning from normal pavement surfaces to pavement markings or colored pavements,” said Ethan Peterson, pavement marking and crashworthy engineer, MnDOT Office of Traffic Engineering. “Friction differences can create a safety hazard for vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians, especially under wet conditions.”


In a new study, researchers will:

  1. Use skid resistance testing devices to determine the differences in friction provided by pavement markings and colored pavements.
  2. Develop guidelines for evaluating frictional characteristics of pavement markings and colored pavements.
  3. Conduct a comprehensive literature review to examine how this friction differential is addressed nationally and internationally.

Project Details

Details of the research study work plan and timeline are subject to change.

To receive email updates about this project, visit MnDOT’s Office of Research & Innovation to subscribe.

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