The Road Cone Connection: Effective Traffic Flow and Accident Reduction Strategies for Today’s Highways


Road Cone

The road cone, also known as a witches’ hat, traffic cone, or orange cone, is a globally recognised object that plays a vital role in road safety, maintaining effective traffic flow, and reducing accidents. Traffic cones can be used in a plethora of applications, including redirecting traffic away from construction zones, accidents, and other road hazards. However, they are equally effective when used for law enforcement, janitorial duties, warning of maintenance workers in the vicinity, guiding pedestrian traffic at public events, and more.


Although there are differently coloured traffic cones requiring different traffic laws to be abided by globally – guided by colour and size – in South and Southern Africa, the orange cone is deemed sufficient for laws to be followed. Upon seeing an orange road cone, pedestrians, motorists, and road users are given a visual cue, letting them know where to go and how to safely navigate the hazard in front of them. They also assist in creating a buffer between traffic and the hazard, providing extra protection for drivers and workers.


At Armco Superlite, we are the leading supplier of traffic cones and other road-safety equipment to a host of elite clients from various industries throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. Today, we will investigate the importance of the traffic cone in its function as an effective life saver on the highways of the continent.


The Road Cone – For Effective Traffic Flow and Reduced Accidents


The traffic cone on its own can be effective for smaller hazards; however, collectively, they can be used to form formidable lanes that channel road users away from danger. They are often used in unison with other road-safety equipment, like speed-reduction signs, warning signs, delineators, and water-filled barriers. But, to be effective in traffic flow and reducing accidents, traffic cones must be used correctly. Here, we offer a few examples:


  1. Considerations for Road Cone Placement: Road construction sites on highways are rarely the same; however, certain guidelines can be followed for road cone placement. Firstly, the size of the work zone has to be considered. Typically, skilled contractors will begin cone placement about 75 m from the actual work zone.


Secondly, the anticipated volume of traffic and the speed reduction required need to be taken into account. For highways, where speed reduction is vital and visibility is crucial, the taller 750 mm cone is typically used. In poor weather conditions or for nighttime effectiveness, a reflective band covering the middle third of the cone should be considered.


  1. Taper Lanes Over Distance: Essentially, the contractor is blocking off an area of the road for upgrades or renovation and needs to divert traffic away from the site, their workers, and their equipment. From the first road cone placement, it is advised to taper the resultant line of cones away from the work zone by incrementally positioning cones closer to the lane where traffic needs to be.


  1. Space Cones Equally: While tapering cones toward the proposed end destination for road users, ensure that they are spaced evenly apart. Approximately 3 m creates consistency, preventing confusion and creating a consistent barrier for traffic to follow. These consistent spacings ensure that there are no gaps for errant drivers to enter the work zone.


  1. Perspective and Maintenance: Once the cones are set linearly and tapered at equal distances, view the lane changes from a driver’s perspective. Do they have sufficient warning, have they reduced speed sufficiently, and is there sufficient guidance to deliver the result of preventing accidents? Then, maintain the display throughout the project. Constantly check the cones and realign as necessary.


The Superior-Quality Traffic Cone Supplier for All Your Needs


At Armco Superlite, our selection of superior-quality road cones are heavy-based, are stable, and remain upright in most weather conditions. They are manufactured to withstand the harshest Southern African climates and are stained with specialised UV-resistant ink for longevity. Regardless of your next project, if you are searching for traffic cones or other world-leading road-safety equipment, consider arming yourself with Armco. Contact us for a personalised consultation.