How Big Data Can Help Prevent Deaths By Speeding

Two transportation researchers say a national map of dangerous traffic speeds could be possible. Eric Sundquist and Michael Brenneis at the State Smart Transportation Initiative report that U.S. DOT has purchased a vast set of traffic speed data collected by the firm INRIX, which it will share with state DOTs.

The feds aren’t thinking about analyzing speed as a safety problem, however. “The US DOT is buying the data from INRIX so that DOTs can comply with performance measure requirements around delay and reliability,” Sundquist and Brenneis write. In other words, U.S. DOT is thinking about congestion and traffic delay.

But with the data now in the hands of state DOTs, Sundquist and Brenneis say there’s no reason it can’t be used to save lives: