Why Are Roads Black? (5 Reasons Why)

Regarding roads, concrete and black asphalt are always in competition. Though everyone can agree that every substance has benefits and disadvantages for its uses and locations.

Nevertheless, concrete has long been favored over asphalt for environmental reasons, though research is beginning to see another side. Discover more about it!

Why Are Roads Black?

1. Low Solar Reflectance

A metropolitan region that is much warmer than the nearby rural areas is referred to as an urban heat island (UHI).

The alteration of the land surface caused by urban development using materials that effectively retain heat is the principal contributor to the urban heat island.

Since asphalt, the most popular paving material, is black and has low reflectivity, it has been suggested that this property of the material causes it to create more heat in metropolitan areas and elevate the temperature in these cities.

2. Reuse And Recycling

Asphalt is the most recyclable material in the US, making it an even more desirable resource for sites that care about ecology and sustainability.

Although a variety of waste products, including pulverized tire rubber, slags, glass, foundry sand, and even pig dung, are now mixed into asphalt pavements, RAP or reclaimed asphalt pavement and RAS or recycled asphalt shingles are the most often employed.

As a result, approximately 50 million cubic yards of landfill space are saved annually using recycled materials in asphalt pavements.

State and municipal governments should find it difficult to utilize any other material on the roads since asphalt is the most affordable and uncomplicated.

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3. For Safety Measures

For Safety Measures

According to science, black absorbs practically all colors with little reflection. As a result, it dramatically improves driving safety.

Since reflecting more light and color with low absorption may interfere with drivers and traffic, lighter pavements will likely result in many traffic accidents.

Of course, this distinction is crucial since it explains why the roadways are black and not other vibrant colors.

Additionally, black roads appear less untidy than any other color due to their dark color.

4. Everything Is Visible On Black Roads

Bright or colorful shades, such as red or blue, may be seen clearly in the dark, whereas the opposite is often difficult or impossible.

For instance, while you can recognize the white stripe painted near the center of the black road, it will be harder to identify a black stripe on a white road.

Even so, it will appear quite hazy. In conclusion, every irregularity on the street, except black color, may be quickly found.

5. Dependable And Durable

Asphalt roads can support cars that weigh multiple tons, and most significantly, this material does not corrode in low or high temperatures.

The fact that these roads can withstand temperatures of 60 to 65°C  and that heat from the sun won’t harm them indicates that asphalt roads can readily withstand extreme temperatures.

To know more, you can also read our posts on why they put salt on roads, why Germany has so many roads, and why Michigan roads are so bad.


So, according to science, black can absorb practically all colors with minimal reflection. In comparison, other colors absorb fewer colors while reflecting more.

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Since other colors are naturally inclined to reflect the most light or color with so little absorption, this reflection may interfere with drivers and traffic, leading to numerous road accidents.

Therefore, they typically use black rather than other colors to facilitate safe driving.

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