Indiana Crash Prediction Website Aimed at Decreasing Fatal Accidents

This week, the Indiana State Police launched their new
Crash Prediction Website. The website, a collaborative effort between the Indiana State Police
(ISP) and the Management and Performance Hub (MPH), is believed to have
the capacity to increase public awareness of roadway safety and save lives.
The MPH combines the work of state agencies, the Indiana Office of Technology,
and the Indiana Office of Management and Budget, serving to provide centralized
data and analysis for complex policy issues.

Originally, the idea came about due to a concern over the rapidly rising
numbers of traffic accidents, both fatal and non-fatal. Though traffic
accidents have been increasing since around 2011, a significant 7.5% jump
in fatal accidents between 2014 and 2015 was a huge rallying cry for state
agencies and policy-makers who are concerned about the roadway safety
of Indiana residents. Out of this concern, the Crash Prediction Website was born.

Improved Decision Making for Drivers, Police, and Emergency Responders

The idea behind the Crash Prediction Website was to help multiple constituents
make better, safer decisions for the public. It may be a long shot, but
there is some hope that drivers will utilize the tool, if not to inform
driving decisions, then simply to better understand when and where general
accident risk is higher. Many drivers underestimate their risk of serious
injury due to an accident, and the ISP hopes the color-coded visuals will
help the driving public to more accurately understand and assess their
risk in specific locations and during key times of day.

Certainly, the website enhances the ability of police and emergency responders
to understand hour-by-hour crash risks and to allocate resources to those
times and places where the possibility of a serious accident are high.
This can not only help to decrease dangerous driving behaviors by improving
police presence in key areas, but it allows emergency responders to be
allocated in ways that minimize the response time. Lives may well be saved
because injured accident victims can be reached and transported to hospitals
more quickly. In addition, the impact of some injuries could potentially
be lessened due to lowered time to medical intervention.

Multiple Data Points Help Create Detailed Map of Crash Risk

The Crash Prediction Website uses data from over 2 million crashes. The
forecasting model uses information beginning in 2004 and carries forward
to current data, which can be integrated into the system nearly immediately.
Accident risk is color-coded as low, moderate, or high and grouped into
three-hour windows over the course of a day. When a user zooms into a
particular area on the map, he or she can get specific details about vehicular
accidents, both those involving injury and those not involving injury.

The predictive model used by ISP and MPH encompasses much more than just
time and location data points. The risk data is based on weather, traffic,
road conditions, time of day, historical information, and census data.
Now that the website has been launched, officials hope state agencies
and the public will find new ways of using the data to help the state
and the public. Obviously, the ISP wants to decrease fatal and non-fatal
vehicle crashes, and they hope to make roadways safer for the people of
Indiana. There are, of course, also financial reasons for the state to
decrease accidents.

Motor Vehicle Accidents Exact Personal and Financial Costs

Even a 1% reduction in statewide crashes could keep $35 million more in
the pockets of Indiana drivers and travelers. According to the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the total cost of crash-related deaths in Indiana amounts to over
$1 billion per year, with a large majority of the cost coming from work
loss. By far, motor vehicle occupants account for the greatest proportion
of fatal crash victims, at a cost of $251 million. Car crashes that leave
victims disabled also have significant personal and financial costs. The
money, however important, doesn’t even come close to the damage
done to individuals and families.

Losing a loved one or undergoing painful but necessary life changes due
to an injury has an emotional and psychological price, both for the injured
individual and his or her family. Traumatic and debilitating medical conditions
such as paralysis, brain injury, internal injury, and loss of limbs are
common in catastrophic accidents. We know pain and suffering can extend
well beyond the initial injury and recovery period. The lives of crash
victims are never the same.

In addition to those already mentioned, there are likely other costs that
most people never consider:

  • There is evidence that large numbers of people who are disabled in a car
    crash cease to own their own home and move to renting instead.
  • At least one survey shows victims of serious car crashes are more likely
    to experience a divorce or relationship separation after an accident.
  • Job loss after a disabling car accident is unfortunately not uncommon.
    To make matters worse, it can take those with a disability twice as long
    to find a new job.
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and other psychological
    effects can affect not only the victim of the accident, but those who
    witnessed the accident or the aftereffects of the accident.

Many Vehicular Accidents Remain Preventable

Preventable vehicular accidents are far too common in the United States.
We have known for a very long time that driving under the influence, speeding,
and failure to wear appropriate safety restraints are major contributors
to traffic fatalities. Over the last ten years, distracted driving has
joined this deadly list of problematic, unnecessary human behaviors. It
is not yet obvious if predictive tools like the Crash Prediction Website
may be able to improve individual decisions, policy determinations, or
resource allocations in ways that will save lives. We certainly hope so.

In the case of a catastrophic car, truck, pedestrian, or bicycle accident,
you and your family need experienced, relentless legal representation
from attorneys with a long history of success. The
vehicular accident attorneys at Indianapolis-based Wagner Reese can help you move forward with your
claim with confidence. We have long-served the communities of Central
Indiana and beyond, and we are proud of the results we’ve found
on behalf of our clients. If you wonder how we can help you after your
car accident, call us at (888) 204-8440 today for a completely free
consultation.