Often when driving there are many small items that we may run over and not think about. Like those small pebbles, sticks, roots, and such don't even cross our minds as being harmful. I mean even when driving over train tracks many don't take into account that one wrong movement could change everything. This also goes hand in hand with the changes that happen to our roads over time.

Many of the construction projects that occur are the results of months upon months of data collection. The Michigan Department of Transportation(MDOT) collects data on car weights, speeds, and other factors to determine what kind of materials to use, how to change traffic patterns, reduce accidents, and more. These black cords you have been seeing on the roads help collect data.

If you do have a sharp eye or are aware of what is in the road in front of you then many of you have seen the black cords that randomly started to show up on the roads throughout Michigan. If you're anything like me your first thought is that these are just dead-grounded wires that would eventually be used to supply power to someone's home or business. We couldn't be more wrong on what these cords are being used for.

Relax, there's nothing to be alarmed about as these cords are used strictly for data collection purposes. MDOT can track the type of vehicle and speed of that vehicle when it passes these black cords because the cords send a burst of air when run over which triggers a switch to gather the data.

Above, is a video that explains in depth how the process works as this data leads to MDOT knowing which times of day have the most traffic congestion and checking to see which road signs and speed limits are working.

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