American roads are lined with all kinds of interesting objects. Go around your neighborhood and you’ll probably see some traffic signs and barricades.
If you take the time to look at them closely, you’ll be able to appreciate the brilliance of their design. They do their job well without distracting you too much from driving.
The traffic cone is yet another interesting object you may encounter while driving. Compared to traffic signs and barricades, traffic cones appear more unusual because of their appearance. Still, they can prove quite useful in different situations.
We need to appreciate the importance of the traffic cone more. But before we do that, let’s take a moment to examine the fascinating history of this roadside aid.
The History of the Traffic Cone
The traffic cone came from the mind of an American named Charles D. Scanlon. Scanlon previously worked as a painter for the Street Painting Department of the City of Los Angeles.
It was during his tenure with that department that Scanlon noticed something about the markers that were being used to warn motorists about damaged or unfinished roads, per Wikipedia. More specifically, Scanlon noticed that the wooden tripods and barriers used as warning markers on the road tended to break way too quickly. Scanlon also worried that the shattered tripods and barriers could end up damaging the cars as they passed by.
Back in 1940, Scanlon sought to replace those fragile wooden road markers by designing a new kind of safety marker that was meant to return to an upright position even after it was hit by a vehicle.
Scanlon went about realizing his idea by first approaching a tire shop operator named Rodney B. Taylor back in 1942. Scanlon took used tire skins from Taylor and stitched them together in a way that would result in the creation of a durable road marker.
The following year, Scanlon was granted the patent for his invention – a hollow, cone-shaped road marker made from rubber. Still, there was the not so small problem of finding the materials needed to manufacture the traffic cones.
That problem would be resolved in 1947 when Charles Terry, the owner of Interstate Rubber Products Corporation partnered with Scanlon and Taylor. With the Interstate Rubber Products Corporation getting into the mix, the traffic cones could finally be mass produced, per the Arizona Department of Transportation.
You may not be wowed by the traffic cone but it is an undeniably important invention and we have Charles Scanlon to thank for it.
What Are the Uses of Traffic Cones?
Traffic cones are great to have on hand because they can prove useful in a wide variety of situations. Listed below are just some of the most notable ways in which traffic cones can be helpful.
Traffic Cones Can Be Used To Regulate And Control The Flow Of Vehicles
As their name suggests, traffic cones are best used to control the movement of vehicles on the road. The reason why they are so helpful in that regard is due in large part to their design.
We already know that traffic cones are crafted in such a way that they can bounce back even after being struck by a vehicle but there are other elements of their design that are worth highlighting.
Many of the traffic cones you’ll see today are designed to be around two to three feet tall. That is important because drivers must be able to see the traffic cones easily from their vehicles. Anything shorter than two feet will be hard to spot and should not be used on the road.
The colors used on traffic cones are also worth talking about. You’ll often find them painted orange and white or bright green and white. Those colors were chosen intentionally because they are easy to see at night and they provide stark contrast to the natural backdrop.
Traffic cones are also ideally designed for controlling traffic due to their material composition. Most of the traffic cones available today are made using shock-absorbing plastic so they can easily handle the impact of a moving vehicle.
Traffic Cones Can Be Used To Regulate And Control The Movement Of People
Traffic cones are useful not just for coordinating the movement of vehicles. They can also be used to tell people where they need to go.
Set them up during an event so that attendees can quickly find booths and restrooms. You can also use them to cordon off restricted areas such as the backstage during concerts.
Traffic Cones Can Be Used To Close Down Or Limit Access To Certain Roads
From time to time, roads have to be closed down for maintenance. During that time, workers may set up traffic cones to let motorists know that a portion of the road is currently inaccessible. If larger scale repairs are needed, the workers may use the traffic cones to close down the road completely.
Traffic cones can also be set up to let drivers know that there’s an event taking place nearby. To ensure the safety of the attendees, traffic cones may be used to close the roads near the venue of the event.
Traffic Cones Can Be Used To Warn Drivers
Traffic cones play an important role in areas known to experience landslides and flooding. They can be used to warn drivers of potential road hazards. The drivers can then respond by proceeding with caution upon seeing the traffic cones.
Road hazards are obviously not limited to floods and landslides. Traffic cones may also be used if there’s a spillage of some kind or if there are potholes up ahead.
Traffic Cones Can Be Used As Temporary Road Signs
Putting up new road signs can take a bit of time. You don’t want accidents to take place while you’re waiting for the new signs to be put up.
You can get around that problem by hanging temporary signs on traffic cones. The signs should still be easy to see even if they are hung from traffic cones.
Where Can I Buy Or Rent Roadworthy Traffic Cones From?
If you’re looking for traffic cones to use for an upcoming event or a new construction project, then please feel free to approach us at Worksafe Traffic Control Industries. We can supply you with high quality traffic cones that meet all of the current standards.
We also want to work with our customers as they try to determine the most cost-effective course of action. You can choose to purchase new traffic cones from us or rent them. Choose the option that makes the most sense for your needs and your budget.
Contact us today to learn more about our traffic cones and our other product offerings.