Will You Allow Winter to Derail Your Transit OperationsShow Categories
JW Speaker’s SmartHeat allows transportation managers to improve public transit safety
While northern hemisphere countries are entering warm, summer months, many urban transit authorities are looking ahead to prepare their fleets for winter conditions. With good reason: winter storms deliver a dual punch of ice and snow to metropolitan areas that seriously decreases safety for those out on the roads and causes disruption to bus, light rail, tram, train services, public works vehicles and trucks.
Jason Meyers is senior account manager for JW Speaker, the world’s leading developer of innovative, high-performance vehicular lighting solutions for OEM and aftermarket customers around the world. The company specialises in LED and other emerging lighting technologies and has a range of products that lessen the challenge of unsafe driving conditions during winter storms. According to the Federal Highway Administration, snow and ice are responsible for 13% of weather-related fatalities, 14% of weather-related injuries, and 18% of weather-related crashes.
“For more than 130 years, vehicle lighting has been used to help drivers see — and be seen,” Meyers observes. “So why are most of today’s lighting systems inadequate when visibility is needed the most to ensure safety? More than 70% of US roads are located in regions where it snows — and about 70% of the US population lives in these snowy regions.”
Vehicle designers and manufacturers of transit buses, light rail, rail, and trucks have introduced a wide range of innovative features — including all-wheel drive, anti-lock brakes, heated steering wheels and more — to improve the driving experience in cold, inclement weather.
But, as Meyers highlights, none of them solve an age-old safety concern for winter drivers — sleet- and snow-covered lights that diminish visibility. Stronger or brighter conventional halogen vehicle lights are not the answer: smarter, technologically advanced LED headlights, taillights, and specialty lights with SmartHeat technology are. That’s because they automatically eliminate condensation, de-ice and remove snow from the lens surface, all without driver interaction.
“Our new SmartHeat technology improves visibility as well as the ability to be seen in tough wintery conditions, making it safer and more comfortable for the driver,” says Meyers. “For transportation managers and public works departments, the technology exists now to substantially improve safety measures for public transit and snow removal vehicles.”