Could a simple GPS tracking device revolutionize how roads are cleared of sleet, snow, and ice? While some places in the United States remain as snow-free as ever, many of the eastern states are completely buried in snow. From Tennessee to New York and everywhere in-between, several inches of snow are making roads extremely dangerous, and while a fleet of snow plows is working in each city to clear roads as quickly as possible, many roads remain neglected.
Is your area suffering from dangerous winter driving conditions? Follow these tips to stay safe!
- Only drive when you absolutely have to
- Take all necessary safety precautions and wear seatbelts
- Slow down and don’t brake too suddenly
- If you slide, steer into the slide to regain traction
- Contact authorities instead of stopping to help stranded drivers
In total, 411 miles of road are accounted for by the street cleaning teams of Syracuse, which supposedly represents every roadway in the city. Syracuse Department of Public Works Commissioner Pete O’Connor describes the way routes are broken down and cleared, saying, “There’s 56 broken-down routes in the city that we go to. But, we have crew leaders that oversee trucks in those areas. So, when a truck is assigned an area, we have a crew leader that kind of goes around to monitor. To make sure they’re doing what they’re supposed to do.”
Soon, a GPS tracking solution may be able to do the crew leader’s job autonomously. Following the example set by Onondaga County, a two-year plan is being put into action with the goal of putting a vehicle GPS tracking system on every snowplow in the city.
“We would know, for a fact, what street they went down. We will be able to tell if the plow was down or up. We’ll be able to tell if the salter was turned on or turned off. And we know how fast they’re going. We know when they stop. And, obviously, we know wherever they go,” said O’Connor. The installation of these GPS tracking units likely won’t be completed until 2016.
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How could GPS technology help protect us from inclement weather conditions? What other public service vehicles could benefit from GPS tracking systems? Let us know in the comments section below!