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Imagine being able to go to a website and get a forecast for tomorrow’s traffic crashes the same way that you can check tomorrow’s weather. Far-fetched? Maybe not.
The Indiana State Police (ISP) just rolled out a website with the hope that it will reduce crashes on Indiana roads.
The Indiana Daily Crash Prediction Map uses the same ideas as a weather forecast. Just as with the weather, the system looks at current data, such as weather, traffic, and road conditions, and then analyzes it based on historical crash data for that location under similar conditions. It then produces an estimate showing the risk—from very low to high—of a crash in every one kilometer square block of the state.
The system has a lot to work with. It’s built on data from more than two million crashes statewide since 2004. When users zoom in on the map, they can see the locations of prior crashes and basic information for many incidents, including the reported cause of the crash and the severity.
The system only offers predictions for the current day and in three-hour windows—but that could make a difference. The ISP developed the map to help address the recent increase in fatal crashes in Indiana (7.5 percent in 2015) and sees it as one tool to improve road safety. By taking a quick look before their morning or afternoon commute, drivers can see whether they are more or less likely to encounter trouble on their regular route and adjust their plans accordingly.
If enough drivers use the map, the results could be profound. According to the IDOT, every 1 percent drop in crashes saves up to $35 million in crash- and delay-related costs. More importantly, the map will help first responders better allocate resources. Knowing where crashes are more likely to occur can reduce response time and save lives.
Tools like the ISP’s new predictive map have the potential to make the roads safer for everyone. Indiana already offers other web-based traffic and weather status maps, but this is the first to predict risk. Despite advances like this, there will always be those who ignore road conditions and traffic safety. If you find yourself the victim of a crash, it’s important to seek out experienced help.
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a car crash, contact the Indianapolis Automobile Accident Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.