LONDON --- Technavio’s latest report on the traffic safety products market in the US provides an analysis on the most important trends expected to impact the market outlook from 2016-2020. Technavio defines an emerging trend as a factor that has the potential to significantly impact the market and contribute to its growth or decline.
“The increase in road traffic and congestion is one of the major reasons behind the increased fatalities on the US transportation network. This drives the demand for traffic safety products that help reduce congestions, re-route traffic, lower the risk of accidents, and ultimately, reduce fatalities.”
In 2015, over 38,000 people were killed and over four million sustained injuries in road accidents in the US. This marked an 8% rise in the number of deaths from 2014, compared with a less than 0.5% increase in 2014 from 2013.
The top three emerging trends driving the traffic safety products market in the US according to Technavio research analysts are:
• Introduction of technologically advanced safety vests
• Increasing innovations in traffic safety products
• Increasing concern about worker safety
Introduction of technologically advanced safety vests
An average of one person is killed, and 153 are injured every 15 seconds, globally. In order to maximize the safety of workers on the roads, manufacturers invest in new safety equipment and technologies.
Manufacturers are installing LED lights on high-visibility vests, which further increases the visibility of the workers at night. For instance, Visijax, one of the manufacturers of high-visibility jackets, has introduced jackets with LED lights, which are visible from more than 1,300 feet away. This further reduces the risk of collision. These LED lights are powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which offers over 20 hours of continuous light in normal use. The lights can be recharged using a USB cable. It has three settings operated by touch-control: slow flash, quick flash, constant and rapid-flash for the low-battery warning. Other vendors have also launched high-visibility jackets with LED lights that can operate for longer hours on alkaline batteries.
Additionally, researchers at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia have introduced the InZoneAlert vest. This vest has radio sensors and GPS tracking, which can be worn inside or on the vest, coupled with connected vehicle technology. Connected vehicle technology uses GPS units and short range radios to connect vehicles to each to avoid collisions. The vest contains radio receivers that will alert the workers of a potential collision. The vests are in the prototype stage and cannot be marketed until connected vehicle technology is prevalent. However, in the future, this technology is expected to significantly reduce worker fatalities on roads.
Increasing innovations in traffic safety products
Manufacturers and researchers across the globe are introducing advanced traffic cones to increase traffic safety. For instance, a research team at the Queensland Institute of Technology, along with its industry partner Centurion Barriers, has developed portable, water-filled road safety crash barriers made of composite, steel, and plastic. These barriers have the potential to reduce the severity of high-speed collisions, which lead to injuries, fatalities, and damage in work zones.
Another attempt to reduce traffic fatalities, the Safelane project was initiated by Highway Resource Solutions in the UK in 2014. A wireless defense system using intelligent traffic cones and alarm sounders can secure roadside perimeters by warning workers of incoming vehicles. The intelligent traffic cone includes a battery-powered lantern along with a contact sensor that will alert the workers if it detects an impact. It is also equipped with a communications module that will send an automated text message to the site supervisor to organize remedial work, inform the system web portal, and initiate message sign to give a visual warning. These innovations available in the global market, can also be adopted in the US to reduce worksite fatalities on roadside construction sites.
Increasing concern about worker safety
Many roads, bridges, and highways need repair in the US. It is estimated that more than USD 3.3 trillion will be required to repair and replace old infrastructure in the country. With the aging highway infrastructure, many transportation organizations are focusing on improving and rebuilding existing roadways. As roadwork activities are increasing and the construction work is carried out at night to avoid the heavy traffic during peak hours, there is increased concern about the safety of the workers.
One of the leading cause of injuries and fatalities in road construction is the collision with construction vehicles, equipment, and other objects. Over 20,000 workers are injured in road construction work zones in the US every year. So, workers use high-visibility jackets to be visible to the drivers on fast moving traffic roads. Additionally, barricade tapes, traffic cones, flags, and other accessories are used to demarcate the work in progress and divert traffic.
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