New Report Shows Big Data Plays Key Role In Improving Driver Safety

According to a new report, big data can play an important role in improving driver safety. Here's what to know.

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July 24, 2019
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Big data is often used to make the world safer. We can use big data to develop better predictive analytics tools to identify risks and take the right precautions. One of the best examples is with using big data to protect driver safety.

Companies that use big data can create better contingency plans. They will make sure that the right measures are in place to avoid the risk of injuries and deaths on the road.

The Role of Big Data in Highway Safety

Car accidents are the cause of 1.25 million deaths per year, with an additional 20 – 50 million injuries or disabilities relating to automobile accidents. Big data is being mined to be able to improve driver safety.

But how?

Predictive Analysis and Crash Maps

Tennessee conducted a crash prediction program in 2013 that analyzed crashes based on reports, traffic conditions and weather for specific 6-by-7-mile-wide areas. The data was used to create maps that officers and highway patrol used to create safety checkpoints.

New enforcement plans were put in place so that officers could patrol in areas where accidents were most common.

Crash response time dropped by 33% and fatalities fell by 3% as a result. This was an impressive set of results. There are other benefits that can’t be ignored.

Big data can also help cities understand their road usage and risks. I-80 where it connects to US 395 in Nevada was designed to have 90,000 vehicles on the roadway per day, but rapid growth in the area has led to more than 260,000 vehicles per day on this road. Cities can use big data to predict how traffic will increase, offer better maintenance and expansion plans, and generally increase safety on congested roadways.

Predictive analysis helps officials take action so that they can lower the risks of accidents and help decrease response time to accidents.

Autonomous Driving Enhancement

Autonomous driving will be able to increase the safety of drivers, and it is big data that will help push this technology to the mainstream. We’re already seeing vehicles that can use blind spot detection or apply the brakes based on the actions of vehicles ahead of the driver’s vehicle.

Safety will improve with autonomous driving, and with 10 million self-driving vehicles expected to be on the road by 2020, these vehicles should help reduce some of the $871 billion that car crashes cost the economy each year.

Telematics to Coach New Drivers

New systems are already being developed to capture data in real-time and be able to sift through big data to analyze a driver’s behaviors. The power of data will be used for telematics so that new drivers can effectively be “coached” on how they drive.

Harsh braking habits, rapid speed increases or even speeding can all be logged and analyzed.

The systems will rely on big data to better help new and seasoned drivers understand their driving habits. Similarly, trucking fleets and other commercial transportation fleets will be able to use telematics to keep a close eye on their drivers.

When telematics is in use, reports can be made and actions can be taken in an effort to curb bad driving behaviors.

Data can also take into account a driver’s actions. The idea is that the vehicle will be able to function differently, based on the driver’s actions, so that the vehicle’s braking or acceleration is altered. Big data can also help eliminate speeding, or it can be used to determine whether a driver is wearing their seatbelt. In the latter case, the vehicle will force the driver to put on a seatbelt before the vehicle starts.

As big data continues to be used, vehicle safety will improve.