GPS Navigation Systems Upgraded For Commercial Trucks To Prevent Low-Overpass Strikes

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Freight trucks and larger vehicles have a tougher time on the road than your average driver. They are restricted from entering certain roads due to noise complaints in the neighborhood and aren’t allowed on the fast lanes of freeways. Truck drivers have to be extra careful because of their size, especially when it comes to tunnels and bridges. All across the U.S., these massive trucks crash into low bridge underpasses and tunnels. However, there is a particular problem in Long Island, New York. According to a report from the New York State Department of Transportation, there have been a whopping 341 accidents involving tall trucks and low overpasses in Long Island between 1993 and 2011. These accidents cause damage to the structure of the bridge or tunnel, to the vehicle, endangers the driver and nearby traffic and also can cause massive traffic headaches.

 

In recent years, efforts have been made to avoid such accidents. For example, many of these lower overpasses and tunnels now have warning signs and height limits posted for truckers. Unfortunately, these signs are often only seen once the driver is already on the road and approaching the overpass or tunnel. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has decided to approach the problem from a different angle: setting new guidelines for commercial truck GPS navigation systems. The reasoning is that the new GPS navigation guidelines could help commercial truckers find routes without low overpasses.

 

The new GPS systems guidelines recommend that all navigation systems for commercial trucks take into consideration the height and weight of the truck. These new navigation systems will be able to set a route that avoids any roads that freight trucks are banned, or where there might be a low overpass or tunnel. The new guidelines also suggest training the truck drivers on the new GPS system with brochures and a certification program. Hopefully with these guidelines, there will be much fewer instances of low-bridge strikes.

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Marisa O'Connor

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