The Federal Railroad Administration has joined hands with Google Maps to provide a safer rail-crossing experience to the drivers. The partnership was announced on Monday and according to it, Google will be denoting all the grade crossings in the U.S. so that drivers are safe while following the map.
The grade crossing accidents have increased last year. From 12,000 a year in 1970s to 2000 a year in the recent time, the decrease is phenomenal. However, last year, it increased by 9% which has made authorities worry about the safety of the drivers.
Last year, 270 people died in highway rail-crossing accidents, which were up from 232 previous year. Grade crossing accidents killed 533 people, and it is the highest rail fatality cause for rail, after trespassing accidents. According to The New York Times report, 843 people were injured in the rail-crossing accidents.
There are around 13,000 public and 85,000 private grades in the U.S. and the tech giant is expected to cover most of them. Google Maps is the most followed map by drivers on the road, and with the integration of grade crossing information, it can be expected that they will be safe.
The Federal Railroad Administration is aware that people follow other apps, too, and they are dependent on either Facebook or their Apple device for roadmaps. The new feature for grade crossing may come handy for them. The company may be soon announcing collaboration with other mapping services like Apple, MapQuest, TomTom and Garmin for the same kind of feature.
Sarah Feinberg, Federal Railroad Administration’s acting administrator, said, “The vast majority of these accidents and deaths are preventable.
“In some cases, maybe a driver intends to beat the train, thinks they are familiar with the route or still have time to cross. But there are many cases where drivers lack situational awareness, because it may be dark or the route is unfamiliar.”
The cause of the increased number of grade crossing accidents is still not clear. The advanced economy may have put more people on the road or it may be the inattentiveness of drivers. With the new technology, it is expected that some lives would be saved.