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Google is bringing railroad crossing locations to Google Maps
Google Maps is already one of the most feature-rich applications on Android, and it’s about to get even better. Google Maps will soon include every public and private railroad crossing location in the United States to help decrease the amount of railroad-related accidents. With help from the Federal Railway Administration (FRA), Google Maps will give audio and visual alerts to users when they approach a railroad crossing.
According to The New York Times, there are currently about 130,000 public and 85,000 private grade railroad crossings in the United States. The number of accidents has decreased by more than 80% in recent years, but last year this number grew by 9%. Additionally, there were 270 deaths and 843 injuries just last year alone, which is likely due to increased cell phone usage on the road. While you may have never heard of a railroad-related accident in your area, the FRA says that many of these incidents are caused by unfamiliar routes or driving at night.
The FRA has also asked Apple, Garmin and TomTom to include these features in their services as well. There’s no word yet as to when we’ll see this info come to Maps, but we’ll be sure to let you know when we hear anything.