Top 5 Difficult Conditions for Manual Counting

Manual traffic counting is time consuming. It can take even longer and reduce accuracy in certain weather conditions. Whenever there is poor weather, there is a higher chance for lower quality data as the onsite counter just wants to get the study done and go back to the office.

With the Miovision Scout video collection unit (VCU), it can record traffic in various weather conditions – rain, shine, sleet, heat. It can withstand a wide range of temperatures from a freezing -40°F (-40°C) to an *almost* boiling 140°F (60°C).

Below are a few weather conditions where manual counters can have difficulty accurately collecting data or where the weather is so unpleasant, the data collection needs to be postponed.


Foggy conditions can reduce the visibility of vehicles and a manual counter may not be able to capture all of the data. There can be safety risks as well depending where the manual counter is positioned. With the Scout VCU, as long as the human eye can see the traffic, data will be easily captured.  The biggest risks with the VCU in fog is potentially walking into the pole where you setup the VCU or pointing the camera in the wrong direction.

Excessive sun

Sun is not an issue for the most part in conducting traffic studies. However, heat and excessive sun rays can be a safety issue for a manual counter who is outside for hours at a time. Glare can also create visual distractions. The Scout VCU is able to take temperatures up to 140°F (60°C). Glare can be avoided by properly positioning the camera in relation to the sun or street lamps.

Winds exceeding 50 mph

Excessive winds can create problems for manual counters, especially if pen/paper methods are involved. It can even be distracting and blow debris around. The VCU is able to accurately record in winds of up to 50 mph (approx. 80.5 km/h). To put this into perspective, wind speeds during storms are 55-63 mph (89-102 km/h) and violent storms are 64-62 mph (103-117 km/h). Miovision does do classifications, however, it’s limited to vehicles and pedestrians and not mailboxes or other wreckage caught in a crazy wind storm.

Blizzard conditions

Heavy snow and cold temperatures are really difficult for manual counters. They are onsite for hours at a time in these conditions. Not only is frost bite an issue, but being on the side of the road can even become a safety hazard in slippery conditions. Recording during snow and high winds is easily captured by the Scout VCU. It is important that snow and moisture do not collect on the camera lens as it can create visual distortions.

If the blizzard conditions are quite serious, I’d wait until it cleared up before sending out the intern to setup a study using the new company car. There are always plenty of parking lots available for donuts on the drive back to the office!


Similarly to blizzard conditions, rain, snow and hail are all unpleasant conditions for an onsite manual counter. It’s cold, wet and they risk getting sick. The Scout VCU is able to capture video in all types of precipitation, but keep the camera lens stays dry as not to distort images. At this time, Miovision does not have an umbrella attachment. Fortunately, this is typically not an issue as the camera should be pointed at about a 45° angle.