Here’s Why Driving On A Rainy Night In Missouri Is Difficult
I don't like driving at night if I don't have to, especially on roads I'm not all that familiar with. I have a couple of eye conditions that make driving in the dark, especially on dark roads without lights that I'm not familiar with, a little difficult. When it's rainy or snowy, it's even worse. However, there might be a way to make it safer for everyone.
Reflective road striping. I hadn't really thought about that until I saw KMBC Meteorologist Katie Horner's Facebook post about how hard it is to see the road markings in Kansas City when it rains. She posted her thoughts on the subject Wednesday morning, and I had a similar experience Wednesday evening.
I was driving to Overland Park, taking Highway 50, to I-470, to I-435. It was already dark when I took off from the radio station. Highway 50 didn't bother me because I drive it so often. I drive it in daylight, I drive it at night, and in all kinds of weather. Yet, I wound up getting on I-435, right after it started raining again.
One of the first things I noticed was it was hard to see the lines on the wet pavement to make sure I was staying in my lane. I-435, unlike Highway 50, isn't really a great roadway to slow down on either. Everyone's always going so fast and weaving in and out between slower vehicles, there are trucks barreling along, and it's difficult on the best of days. Unfortunately, even rain doesn't slow down the traffic on that stretch of road.
It was that night I read Horner's Facebook post and it clicked. She writes, "When it rains in KC, it is very difficult to see our road markings. How much more does it cost to paint the roads with reflective markings like they do in Georgia? I feel the investment could save lives."
She brings up a very good point. One of the things that helps me with night driving is when the painted lines are reflective, or reflectors are fastened into the pavement along with the painted lines. It makes it easier to navigate turns and stay in my lane. It also makes it a little easier to see when it's rainy, snowy, and foggy.
For me, that would have helped a lot on I-435 last Wednesday night, and probably the next time I encounter weather doing some night driving. I've reached out to MoDOT to see what they have to say about the subject. I'll update this post when I receive a response from them.