Asphalt Parking Lot Wheel Stop Safety Considerations

Asphalt Parking Lot Wheel Stop Safety Considerations

May 09 2023

There are a few components that may comprise a key part of your business’s parking lot area, and one of these in many cases is the presence of various wheel stops. Referring to the plastic or concrete items that sit on the ground and prevent vehicles from contacting one another in basic parking setups, wheel stops are often a major part of your parking lot setup – and safety around them and other parking lot elements is vital.

At Asphalt Masters, we’re happy to help with numerous areas of parking lot maintenance, including parking lot striping and repair, for clients around Ogden, UT and nearby areas. When it comes to wheel stops and their role in your asphalt parking lot, plus how to ensure they’re placed and maintained safely, here are some basic tips to consider.

Wheel Stop Basics and Materials

For those who are unfamiliar with them, as we alluded to above, wheel stops are the plastic or concrete blocks that are placed around a parking lot in specific areas, at specific intervals. They can be made from recycled materials, rubber, concrete, and other elements – it all depends on your individual needs. Wheel stops should generally be about 6 feet long and 6 inches tall.

Regardless of what material your wheel stops are made from, their key purpose is to ensure that cars don’t come into contact with each other as they park in the lot. In addition, wheel stops can help to make sure drivers actually stay within the parking spots themselves and avoid areas where there are sidewalks or landscaping features. This helps to protect both drivers and any pedestrians who might be nearby.

Does Your Lot Need Wheel Stops?

If you’re in the process of building a new parking lot of any kind, you may be wondering if you actually need wheel stops. Generally, the answer is yes – unless your parking lot has a very specific layout and design, it’s likely going to be beneficial for you to install some kind of wheel stop system in order to ensure the safety of drivers and pedestrians alike.

In some cases, if there are already curbs or dividers present between parking spots, then wheel stops may not be absolutely necessary. However, depending on the size and shape of your lot, it’s still likely to be beneficial – remember that safety should always come first when considering elements of your parking lot design.

Wheel Stop Placement Safety Dos and Don’ts

When placing wheel stops in a parking lot, there are some basic dos and don’ts for doing so safely. Here are some of the themes to prioritize on the “do” side of things:

  • Limit length and height: If wheel stops are too long or tall, they may pose a hazard to drivers and should be avoided. They should be kept to no longer than six feet long and 6.5 inches in height – this will also ensure that they do not contact vehicle undersides or areas where they could do more damage.
  • Proper contrast with asphalt: Wheel stops should be painted or coated in a way that provides clear contrast with the color of your asphalt. Bright colors are often the best for this purpose, as they make wheel stops much more visible and easier to identify from a distance.
  • Ensure proper walkways and illumination: If you’re placing wheel stops around walkways or areas that may be more pedestrian-oriented, then it’s also important to ensure that proper lighting is present and that these walkways are clearly visible. This will help drivers and any pedestrians who may be in the area strengthen their awareness of where they can or cannot park.

On the flip side, some placement risks to avoid for wheel stops:

  • Placing them in a pathway: Wheel stops shouldn’t be placed in a way that obstructs pedestrian pathways or typical walkways, as this could lead to accidents or other issues.
  • Compromising visibility: If wheel stops are not painted adequately or illuminated properly, then they may not be visible from a distance and therefore pose a hazard to drivers.
  • Inadequate spacing: Wheel stops should be spaced in such a way that they provide the necessary delineation between parking spots without taking up too much space or leading to overly cramped driving conditions. This can help drivers circulate around them with greater ease and less risk of potential accidents.

Importance of Wheel Stop Maintenance

Just like the asphalt in your parking lot or any other commonly-used feature, wheel stops should also be regularly maintained in order to ensure that they remain visible and safe. Checking for paint fading or other potential issues can help you identify any necessary fixes before a problem arises, such as painting them back up with bright colors in order to preserve their visibility.

In addition, if your wheel stops are made from concrete then it’s important to monitor their condition closely so that any cracks or other damages can be addressed in a timely manner. These issues should not be left unchecked, as they may worsen over time and lead to more serious problems down the line.

Overall, wheel stops are an essential part of many parking lot designs – but it’s also important to keep them safe and visible in order to ensure the safety of drivers and pedestrians alike. Following the above dos and don’ts for wheel stop placement, as well as regularly monitoring their condition, are essential steps towards a safer parking lot design.

For more here, or to learn about any of our asphalt services for parking lots or other parts of your Ogden property, speak to our team at Asphalt Masters today.