Can Technology Predict Where Car Crashes Will Happen?

Can technology predict where accidents are going to happen? While we’re likely a few decades away from Minority Report-style precognition (if it ever happens at all), by using “big data,” it is possible to identify areas where serious or fatal car accidents have happened in order to prevent future accidents from occurring.

Big Data Crash Analytics

Tennessee launched a statewide program in 2013 to do just that. The program uses software to merge all crash reports, weather conditions, information about special events and traffic enforcement citations. The combined data then creates a map showing the likelihood of a serious crash or fatal accident within 6-by-7 mile areas in four hour increments throughout the day.

The data is also provided to Tennessee police. They can pull up the map information in their vehicles and can patrol the more dangerous areas when they have the time. Not only are police more likely to be able to target unsafe driving behaviors based on big data, but the presence of a police car on the median or shoulder of roads often has a deterrent effect, causing nearby drivers to drive slower and safer. And if an accident does occur, there is already a police officer nearby.

So far, only a few states use predictive crash analytics in this form. This may change as more states look into Tennessee’s implementation of the tool. Missouri has already followed suit after seeing Tennessee’s program and Wisconsin is expected to later this year.

Phil 4:7, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”


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