DOT Reflective Tape and It's Uses

DOT Reflective Tape and It's Uses

Safety regulations for all modes of major transportation are set by The Department of Transportation (DOT). DOT reflective tape, also known as DOT conspicuity tape, plays an important role in keeping drivers safe on the road. It is used on large vehicles and trailers to make them more visible. 

Why Use DOT Reflective Tape

Research has shown that using DOT tape on large trailers reduces the incidence of accidents involving tractor-trailers. The reflective tape makes the trailers much more visible, which allows other drivers to make adjustments to their speed and distance in a timely manner. At night, a trailer without DOT tape is practically invisible.

What Makes DOT Tape Reflective

DOT tape is a striped reflective tape that comes in two patterns. Red and white striped DOT tape is used on the bottoms and back of a trailer. On the other hand, silver and white DOT tape is used on the upper rear of a trailer.

The reflectiveness of the tape comes from the embedded encapsulated catadioptric glass beads in the transparent layer of the tape. 

DOT Tape Requirements for Trailers

Federal law requires commercial trailers or any trailer that weighs more than 10,000 pounds and is wider than 80 inches to be equipped with reflectors or DOT C2 reflective tape. Red and white striped tape must be used for the back and bottom sides of a trailer, and silver or white must be used for the upper rear. On each trailer, the tape must cover:

  • At least 50% of each side
  • All of the bottom back
  • Entire lower rear bar

In addition, the upper rear of the trailer must have an inverted 12 inch “L”.

Also, it is the driver’s responsibility to make sure the tape is visible and not covered by dirt or mud. If the tape begins to fade or look worn, the driver should immediately replace the tape. Failing to meet DOT reflection requirements can result in fines or other penalties. Additionally, if a trailer is involved in an accident and doesn't have proper reflective tape, the driver will be held responsible for the accident and have their license revoked, and could be charged with a crime depending on the severity of the accident. 

What to Avoid with DOT Reflective Tape

When buying DOT tape, it is crucial to make sure you get tape that meets DOT regulations. These regulations include:

  • Each stripe must be six inches long
  • The tape must be at least two inches wide
  • Must be stamped with the DOT C2 marking

It is important to avoid tapes that are labeled DOT tape but aren’t C2 tape. Only certified DOT tapes are allowed to have the DOT C2 stamp. Avoid cheap tapes that aren’t high-intensity grade. A good DOT C2 tape is:

  • High-Intensity Grade
  • Highly reflective
  • Weather-proof
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Solvent resistant

Most high-quality DOT tapes will come with a five to ten-year warranty. 

DOT Tape at Tape Jungle

Tape Jungle offers high-quality DOT C2 tapes from Alanson Products and Oralite. Contact our friendly and professional customer service team to learn more about the DOT tapes we offer. Our knowledgeable staff can help you determine what tape will best meet the needs of your business.