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How Does a Detectable Warning Surface Work?

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There are tens of millions of people who live in the United States with a disability of some kind. Those who live with disabilities can have trouble safely navigating public spaces. Tasks that might seem simple to others, such as walking down the street or crossing a road, can be much more difficult for those who live with visual impairments. Individuals who depend on canes, wheelchairs, and walkers can also have issues with these tasks. This is where a detectable warning surface can be beneficial.

The Purpose of Using a Warning Surface

As people live longer than ever, the number of people who live with a disability is only going to grow. Furthermore, public spaces are only going to get busier. Therefore, it is important for people with disabilities to get tactile feedback when they maneuver in public places. A warning surface will be able to provide tactile feedback about a person’s location. For example, a warning surface might let someone know that he or she is approaching the edge of a sidewalk, crosswalk, or busy street. In this fashion, a warning surface can let someone know that they are about to approach an area with oncoming road traffic.

They Provide Assistance to Those with Vision Issues

The goal of any warning surface is to let someone know that their environment is going to change. Those who live with visual impairments may not be able to tell that there is possible danger ahead. In addition to sidewalks and crosswalks mentioned above, warning surfaces can be useful in a variety of other locations as well. They are commonly installed at bus stations to let someone know that a large vehicle is nearby. They can also be found on train platforms. The raised surface lets someone know that they have approached the tracks and need to be incredibly careful, particularly if a train is coming. The same can be said of subway stations. These warning surfaces act to keep everyone safe from harm, particularly those who might be living with a disability.

Looking for the Right Detectable Warning Surface

It is important to make sure the right detectable warning surface is installed. There are lots of warning systems to choose from ranging from truncated domes to fiberglass polymer composites and more. Depending on the location of the warning surface, some options might work better than others. The most important factor to consider when looking for a warning surface is that it is easy to spot. The goal is to get someone’s attention to prevent them from ending up in a dangerous situation. These warning surfaces make a tremendous difference in the lives of countless people.

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