Caltrans, the inventor of the ubiquitous Botts Dot, is now phasing out this stalwart piece of highway safety technology. The Bott Dot was invented by Caltrans engineer, Elbert Botts, at the Sacramento laboratory. They were originally conceived as a new way to denote lanes on freeways. The paint used at the time faded too quickly due to the greater number of lane changes that occur on freeways. In fact, the original purpose of the Bott Dot was merely to denote lanes. Their touted safety as a “bump” warning to drivers was only later advertised.
The Bott Dot is a round ceramic disc that lines the lanes on freeways. It gives a distinct “ka-thump” whenever a tire drives over it. It was for this reason that many people popularly believed they were invented to warn drivers when they were drifting out their lanes.
The Bott Dot was developed in 1953 and became a mainstay on the American highway by the 1970s. But the technology is now being phased out for high-reflective tape and thermoplastic bumps. The Bott Dot, while durable, is not as durable as the thermoplastic, reflective replacements. Furthermore, automated cars have trouble identifying the Bott Dot. It is believed that the highly reflective tape and thermoplastic bumpers will be easier for driverless cars to identify.
If you are injured in a car accident, you may want to contact an attorney to review your rights. Car accidents notoriously result in either serious injuries or no injuries at all; it seems every anecdotal story never has a middle ground. If you suffered severe injuries, you would want the assistance of a lawyer to get you compensation to cover your medical expenses. Whenever the government switches to a new safety technology for highways, people get nervous. Don’t let this nervous overtake your good sense and judgment.
Source: Sacramento Bee, “http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/transportation/article127811959.html,” Tony Bizjack, January 20, 2017