An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Software to predict accidents…

The new book "The Secrets" says you get what you dream or think of. So, if you wanted to become a millionaire.. just think hard enough… and you would be a millionaire pretty soon. Well, some of this mumbo-jumbo has truth in the strength of consciousness to express itself through the interconnectedness of the creative and primordial energy itself.

Now, these scientists have created a software that predicts accidents in certain hotspots in the cities.. because.. these spots have traditionally have had accidents. Hmm.. so isnt that a self-fulfilling loop according to the Secrets-philosophy? Moreover, if one place is doomed in the analysis.. does it remain doomed? (story tip: Raj)

Ohio State University scientists have created software that can identify traffic accident hotspots on state roadways.

The software is publicly available and can be adapted for use by any state, said Christopher Holloman, associate director of the Statistical Consulting Service in Ohio State’s Department of Statistics. Currently, the Ohio State Highway Patrol is using it to help position its cruisers during major holidays.

"We can make predictions for every major roadway in Ohio, under all possible road conditions, for every hour of the day, for every day of the week," Holloman said.

The software relies on reports of injuries and fatalities from the highway patrol, and incorporates statistics about what makes accidents happen.

Common accident causes such as speeding or alcohol consumption are fairly easy to model using computers, Holloman explained. Others — such as when a driver will be distracted by a cell phone — are impossible. So the software makes general forecasts.

"Everyone would love to be able to predict exactly where and when the next crash would be, but there are just too many factors involved, and too much randomness to do that," he said. "We can confidently make broad statements, like whether a particular piece of roadway is riskier at a particular time."

Not surprisingly, the software indicates that most speeding accidents in Ohio happen during weekday rush hours, and most drunk-driving accidents happen on the weekends between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m. — after the bars close. But it did reveal some facts that weren’t so obvious.

In Columbus, for instance, most speeding accidents happen on the northern potion of the outer beltway, Interstate 270. But Interstate 71, which divides the city north to south, is a hotspot for drunk-driving accidents.

Ohio is the seventh most populated state in the United States, and most residents live in and around the cities of Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati.

Holloman expected to find that most fatal traffic accidents happen near those three cities. He didn’t expect to find that most fatalities around Columbus and Cincinnati happen on the interstates, while near Cleveland more fatalities occur on the U.S. routes and state routes, as people cross the border to and from Pennsylvania. He says that his contacts at the highway patrol didn’t seem surprised.

"It confirmed what they already knew, which is fine," he said. The software can’t indicate the underlying cause of why a particular area is prone to a particular type of accident, but it may help the highway patrol find those answers. "We see the software as a supplement to officer expertise, and to the efforts of the highway patrol’s quantitative analysis group, which does its own analysis of crash data."

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