You would think that Google Maps already has it all, in terms of helping both drivers and commuters to navigate the ins and outs of but apparently, there’s still one missing component and including it might just save some lives. The Federal Railway Administration (FRA) has officially requested Google Maps to include the various railway crossings across the US onto their navigation systems, providing guidance for drivers who are either visitors to a specific area or those driving during nighttime when light is scarce in the area.
According to the FRA, there were 270 deaths in 2014 related to railroad crossing accidents, which is 48 more than in 2013. Given that some of these accidents were probably because the drivers were distracted or something, it might seem like a strange request. But with a lot of accessories now allowing drivers to use navigation apps like Google Maps without taking their hands off the wheel or their eyes off the road, then this might just be really helpful.
So if Google could include the rail crossings in their Maps, drivers who are using turn by turn navigation will be aware that there are tracks ahead of them and pay more attention while driving. Yes of course, there are warnings ahead and even flashing lights, but for those times where there are unexpected circumstances, like if the barriers don’t go down or the warnings don’t go off, at least drivers are still aware of the dangers.
The FRA actually has their own app called the Rail Crossing Locator, available on the Google Play Store. But it would still be more helpful probably if they were on Google Maps, and other navigation apps like MapQuest, HERE, etc.