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New programs could help slow traffic in advance of construction

When you're working on or around the roads, you need to be safe. You may be in a construction zone, but that doesn't mean that drivers are going to slow down or avoid hitting you.

A construction zone accident shouldn't happen. Workers do their best to light the area, use signs and flaggers and to take steps to have drivers merge away from where they're working. Sadly, when drivers aren't paying attention or are distracted, they may enter those areas and end up striking a worker.

Two schools, Trimble and Purdue University, are trying to find ways to make highway work zones safer. They noted that work zones can cause sudden slowdowns, which is difficult for semi-truck drivers to manage. Additionally, rear-end collisions were common.

Their goal would be to provide advanced warning of slowdowns because of construction work. This would give drivers a chance to slow down in advance, minimizing the risk of rear-end collisions and slowing them down as they enter a work zone.

How do they believe they'll be able to alert drivers

Through a series of programs such as CoPilot Truck and MileOn, drivers can be alerted as part of their Trip Management API. Slowdown alerts would then sound off, telling the driver that there is congestion ahead, so that they can begin to slow down before they even see the traffic jam or slowed traffic.

With slower traffic and fewer crashes, construction workers may be able to focus on their jobs more effectively. This software should be ready in the second quarter of 2020, so it will be interesting to see how it works.

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