Handicap Warning Mats

Handicap Warning Mats

Handicap warning mats are detectable warning surfaces composed of strips of small raised, color circles located on pedestrian ramps. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires these warning mats to be installed wherever there is a street crossing or a right of way change from a sidewalk to a roadway present.  They play a significant role in alerting pedestrians that are visually impaired or blind to an immediate change in surface condition as they move across a street or roadway.

Understanding Handicap Warning Mats

Warning mats are in essence similar to stop signs.  They serve to tell pedestrians that the path they are about to travel is about to change and may present with danger.  They warn pedestrians to stop and give close attention to their next steps.  The warming mats are slip-resistant and are not manipulated by extremely warm or cold temperatures, nor are they impacted by salt.  Additionally, handicap warning mats are designed with what is called a “cane sound” component which is a specific sound and vibration that is created when a cane taps the surface. 

Primary Functions of Warning Mats

A primary function of handicap warning mats is to present with a visual wherein a color contrast exists between the warning surface and the concrete surface that surrounds the mat.  This will alert all pedestrians that there is a color difference indicating an upcoming curb cut.  The colors used include clay-red, brick-red, yellow, blue, gray and black with yellow being the most popular since it is indicative of caution and is by far the brightest of all the colors used.   Second to yellow, the new brick-red is climbing the charts as a new popular color to use on warning mats and present with the same necessary caution features.  

Handicap warning mats are primarily intended for those who are visually impaired and blind.  However, they also serve to protect those who are not necessarily impaired, but rather distracted as they walk the streets with cell phones in hand.  The bright, vibrant colors as well as the raised surfaces allow detectable warning mats to also raise awareness to individuals who are texting on their cell phones or engrossed in a cell phone call.  The warning mats actually alert them to the simple fact that they are about to walk off of a curb or walk onto a street or roadway corner.  Each of which is beneficial to the pedestrian whether they are blind, visually impaired or flat out distracted as they are walking. 

Detectable warning mats are also extremely beneficial to parents and caretakers who are walking with children, elderly individuals or those who are sporting strollers as well as small children who are still new to everyday walking and slow in their movement and progress.  Other individuals who benefit from these warning mats are people getting about with wheelchairs from one point to another or individuals who suffer with specific disabilities or disorders that make walking an extremely slow and difficult process for them requiring specialized elements and features to ensure their overall safety. 


Handicap warning mats are able to withstand heavy foot traffic.  Year after year pedestrians travel walking surfaces that cross or adjoin vehicular ways that fail to have a curb, railing or wall present to alert pedestrians who are visually impaired or blind of the fact that they are moving forward from an area that is safe to one that is now potentially dangerous. Detectable handicap warning mats do just that!

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