The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) will be receiving high-tech upgrades for its snowplows, trucks and other roadside equipment to help prevent accidents. A grant from the United States Department of Transportation will provide WYDOT with $5 million in funds to develop apps and other wireless communications that can help drivers receive accurate information on weather conditions.
The Connected Vehicle Pilot Program (CVPP) will establish wireless connections between vehicles that can share up-to-date roadside alerts, advisories, weather information and travel guidance. Truck drivers may use in-vehicle GPS units or other devices that can warn of potential hazards.
Why Weather Warnings Are Important for Winter Safety
Transportation officials are attempting to improve safety along the I-80 corridor, where weather conditions can become harsh and unpredictable during the winter months. Commercial truck drivers are at higher risk for blowover accidents during this time of year due to high winds and unpredictable weather. Earlier this year in January, there were 18 weather-related accidents on a single day.
Communications technologies utilized by commercial truck drivers and roadside workers could help prevent future weather-related accidents. Traffic is dense along the I-80 corridor, giving researchers a perfect opportunity to test the effectiveness of this new program. Federal transportation officials are hoping that if the program is successful, other states will develop similar systems.
Presently, Wyoming, New York City and Tampa, Florida are participating in the $42 million program. By preventing commercial truck accidents, the CVPP might provide a significant boost for public safety.
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