State transportation departments often make decisions such as where the highway will be widened, which areas to resurface, where the signage will go, and which stretches of road to give priority to. The process for making these decisions has been based on best guesses, professional judgments, responding to the most recent accidents, or simply settling for the lowest dollar project. Highway planners can detect different crashes over the course of the year, but they might not understand why the crashes occurred. We are entering an era where smarter decisions are based on actual data, as opposed to judgment.
Numetric, a safety analytics company, is working with various Departments of Transportation throughout the United States, including New Jersey, to assess what the greatest dangers to highway safety are in their states, based on factual data. Numetric is classed as a business intelligence data toolset, aiding the process of better business decision making. Currently, the company is bringing tools to improve highway safety decisions.
Two Suites Introduced
This past October, Numetric unveiled a pair of new analytical tools; one designed to measure safety and one designed to create solutions to identified problems. The safety suite conducts network screening, diagnosis, and countermeasure selection. The design suite takes this information and applies it to budgetary thinking and prioritization of projects.
A state’s Department of Transportation may need to identify stretches of road that have proven especially dangerous in recent years, but the data may be separated into different piles and formats by state police, the department of motor vehicles, department of public safety, and municipal and county records. This is a problem that has historically frustrated public safety efforts.
Numetric allows the Department of Transportation to work with these data sets, and where one might be incomplete or missing sections, Numetric will clean up the data. Highway engineers will then indisputably know where the need for signage, lighting, medians, or rumble strips need to go. Once the problem has been diagnosed, the design suite allows planners and engineers to estimate the potential cost and efficacy of possible solutions on the roads in question. Numetric’s approach is already helping to lower the number of serious crashes in New Jersey.