How Orange Cones Influence Driver Behaviour


Standing sentinel on our roads, highways, and byways, often underestimated, orange cones wield an astonishing influence over the behaviour of road users daily. Far from mere road furniture, traffic cones orchestrate a silent message of caution, redirection, and even obedience to the rules of the road.


In this article, the leaders in road safety equipment at Armco Superlite will delve into how orange cones manipulate our driving habits.


Colour Psychology of Orange Cones


Orange Cones

It is certainly no accident that, in southern Africa, traffic cones are orange. This colour hails a driver’s attention, signalling words like “warning,” “caution,” and “danger” in our brains through driver experience and training. The colour orange has become synonymous with sharpening our focus and increasing our reaction time.


As we approach a cone-laden zone, our brains shift gears, switching off autopilot and engaging in a heightened state of awareness. This is the first subtle sign that road users should be aware of and look out for hazards or obstacles in the road ahead.


The Art of Orange Cones and Their Ability to Alter Driving Behaviour


As we navigate our way through a string of orange cones guiding us through a maze of detours, they orchestrate our every move. They direct us around obstacles or obstructions, law enforcement traffic control monitoring, emergency services at work, and more. Their placement is not random; they have been specifically placed to influence our driving decisions.


One string of orange cones could influence us to move to the right, while another string might guide us to merge into one lane. As motorists, we comply without question, with our drivers’ instincts trained to follow the orange path. We physically relinquish control to these plastic sentinels, trusting them to lead us safely through the chaos to the other side.


These seemingly humble orange cones are the unsung heroes of our roads, tirelessly working behind the scenes to ensure our safety by influencing our driving behaviour. In many ways, they are the silent guardians of our daily commute, manoeuvring us away from danger through construction sites, accidents, or lane closures that can disrupt our journeys before we reach our destinations.


How do Orange Cones Influence Our Driving Behaviour?


We have established that traffic cones are one of the most common road traffic safety devices. But how do they carry the authority to influence the way we drive? Here are just three ways they manage this feat:


  1. Changing the Visual Landscape of the Road: Orange cones are bright and eye-catching, and if used in conjunction with their bright, reflective collars, are clearly visible from a distance, even in poor light conditions. They are visually distinctive, and they change the visual landscape of the road to assist in defining our safe passage through hazards.


  1. Altering Driver Expectations: When drivers notice the bright orange cones, they know they have to be extra vigilant. Their hands tighten around the steering wheel, and they are more attentive. They typically slow down, change lanes, or come to a complete stop, depending on the instructions of the designated official or worker. This can help to prevent accidents, especially in areas where there are already identified hazards on the roads.


  1. Providing Temporary Barriers: Since these devices are lightweight for their function, stackable, and easily transported, they are typically used as temporary barriers for a short period. They are usually made from bendable plastic, minimising the chances of vehicular damage in the event of a collision. At Armco Superlite, our traffic cones meet international standards and are light enough to carry but heavy enough to withstand wind generated by large transport vehicles.


Why Consult with Armco for All your Safety Equipment Needs


At Armco Superlite, we pride ourselves on procuring, manufacturing, and supplying only the most superior-quality road safety equipment. We have been the leading supplier of these products in southern Africa for decades. The quality of our products is unsurpassed and our pre-and post-sales service is unequalled.


Consult with us today and arm yourself with Armco for all your road safety equipment needs.