Indiana Toll Road uses state-of-the-art technology to increase safety

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The Indiana Toll Road has seen dozens of crashes in recent days due to winter weather. They hope some new technology will decrease future accidents.

This effort is aimed at making sure everyone is paying attention and knows what is going on with the biggest improvements coming to snow trucks and electronic signs.

It's all part of a $300 million commitment the Toll Road built up over the last couple of years to keep you safe.

It includes putting in 12 big flashy full-color dynamic message signs.

"If we have a crash and the road is closed for any reason, we'll drop up a bright red backdrop to the lettering to really warn motorists," Indiana Toll Road Concession Company Chief Operating Officer Rick Fedder said. "If it's directional, the background will be green."

These signs can use graphics and alter the speed limit depending on conditions to help you avoid traffic jams and accidents, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.

The toll road has fiber-optic technology in place that can do so many things like: monitor road temperatures, friction ratings, bridge temperature, ice warning, and interchanges. using that info, they can push messages out.

But none of that even matters if drivers don't follow simple safety tips.

"I'm gonna take a little more of a tough love approach than in the past on some of these things," Sergeant Jeff Whiteman said. "Just use common sense. If you look out the window, and it's a blizzard, the roads are probably pretty bad. Okay, people?"

Unfortunately, no amount of warnings on a toll road sign are going to prevent someone from accidentally following too close, playing on their phone, or driving like crazy, so it's up to you to be a safe driver.

"A good winter season is a good winter season where we don't have to go to someone's house and make a death notification," Whiteman said. "So we're please asking everyone to do your best that you can to make our job simpler by having some individual responsibility."

On top of the added signage, the toll road is replacing their entire snow truck fleet so they can get the roads cleared faster.

The signs will go up this week and next week. Trucks will be upgraded every few months over the next couple of years, so they won't need to replace the whole fleet as frequently.