Connected intersection in Marysville, OH

Why You Should Participate in Connected Marysville

By Barbara Linstrom

Who doesn’t want safer roads, with fewer crashes and fatalities? Most of us have known someone who has been in a perilous car crash. Research shows that human error is linked to about 93% of serious crashes (see this NHTSA study).

Making Roads Safer

In explaining the value of the current landmark study on driver safety known as Connected Marysville, a leading Ohio traffic management expert emphasizes community buy-in. “If you have a community super engaged in making traffic safer and word of mouth kicks in and people are talking about it, then you are making that community’s roads safer,” says John MacAdam, an engineer who is known for leading innovative transportation solutions, pushing the envelope with technology, and communicating through change.

During his 16 years with the Ohio Department of Transportation, MacAdam came to believe that what will increase driver safety more than anything is community engagement and understanding. “We don’t need more engineering solutions as much as we all, as individual drivers, need to understand the impact we have on traffic safety. Connected Marysville is fascinating because it is targeted directly at driver behavior,” he adds.

How it Works

DriveOhio and the City of Marysville recently launched the pilot to test connected vehicle and roadside infrastructure technology. Drivers are still needed for Connected Marysville, which exemplifies the spirit of the Columbus region’s Beta District.

Your personal vehicle, equipped with connected vehicle technology, will advance long-term efforts to reduce traffic fatalities. You just drive your normal routes in and around Marysville. For 12 months, your vehicle will collect anonymous data on its driving behavior. You’ll receive proactive alerts such as a red light violation warning if a green light will turn red by the time you’re expected to approach it and a forewarning about adjustments in the posted speed due to a curve ahead. After the study’s conclusion, you can keep the technology in your vehicle for continued use.

The Future of Safety

“Ultimately, you will help inform how car manufacturers include tech in cars of the future,” says MacAdam. “Looking at the big picture — you will help save lives and help decrease crashes.” The technology informs drivers of upcoming dangerous conditions with dashboard alerts. “It’s a much more effective way to get a driver’s attention than road signs. And it can be informed by other data points such as excessive speed to alert drivers when they are approaching a curve too fast,” he adds.

Interested participants can see if they qualify by taking a short survey at Qualified participants can receive up to $180 in gift card rewards. To date, nearly 500 have qualified and over 90 have the technology installed.

With a master's degree from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, Barbara Linstrom has worked overseas as a journalist, and as a digital media director at a PBS/NPR station in Southwest Florida.