New York City Personal Injury Law Blog

Can Big Data Help Predict Car Accident Locations?

Posted on Apr 24, 2017 in Car Accidents, Personal Injury

Car accidents can be devastating. Collisions are a leading cause of death, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injury, among other tragic outcomes. When a crash happens, a New York City personal injury law firm can help victims and families of victims to pursue a claim for compensation for losses.

Unfortunately, injuries from car accidents are often permanent, or families are forever shattered because a crash was a fatal one. It is important to identify the biggest risk factors and the most likely locations of auto accidents to try to spare families the trauma of crashes.

The Pew Charitable Trusts reports that efforts are being made to use big data to reduce the number of accidents that occur so people can stay safer.

Car Crash Prevention Efforts Using Data Analysis

According to the Pew Charitable Trusts: “As more and more states use “big data” for everything from catching fraudsters to reducing heath care costs, some highway patrols are tapping it to predict where serious or fatal traffic accidents are likely to take place so they can try to prevent them.

One state, Tennessee, has been a pioneer in its use of data analysis to identify likely collision locations and many other states have already begun to follow Tennessee’s lead and become more effective at crash prevention through the use of data.

The Tennessee program, launched statewide in late 2013, received funding from federal grants to help pay an estimated $263,000 in initial costs.  It will also have annual operating costs of around $125,000 annually.  While this could seem expensive, it is a small price to pay for avoiding potentially serious or deadly collisions.

The program works by merging all of the reports of car accidents throughout the state into a software program. Information about the crash, including the traffic conditions, weather conditions, and news of special events was all input into the program as well, along with information on whether a driver had ever had a traffic enforcement citation.

By quickly analyzing all of the information provided about the accidents and conditions surrounding them, the software program was able to produce a map that can pinpoint the chances of a death or serious collision. The map is able to show the chances of a crash within a six to seven-mile area during four-hour increments every day.

Knowing where crashes are likely to happen allows law enforcement officers to effectively reduce crash risks by parking on the median to slow traffic. Even if police are not in the exact location, they can also respond more quickly to accidents if they are in the area and can hopefully provide prompt assistance to help reduce the severity of collision injuries.

Hopefully, the use of data will expand and law enforcement officers will become even better at predicting and preventing crashes. Still, serious accidents can still happen, and victims who are hurt or families who lose loved ones should consult with an NYC personal injury lawyer at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff to get help as soon as possible following a crash.

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