• 21
  • January
    2011

High-traffic areas can lead to high accident rates for vehicles and pedestrians. Improving safety conditions within these regions is a point of emphasis when designing or changing roadways. The accidents that happen underscore why drivers may avoid specific routes. Many highways go through many various cities, forcing more and more vehicles into places that are unaccustomed to the volume of traffic. When auto accidents happen, officials want to understand why, so they can better prevent them in the future.

A New York woman recently pleaded guilty to an accident she caused this past July. Sybil Monk was traveling on Route 5 in Montgomery County when she had a head-on collision with two motorcyclists. The accident killed one and injured three others. Monk was charged with DWI after it was discovered that she was under the influence of prescribed narcotics at the time of the crash.

While the driver's impairment was one of the causes of the accident, the crash occurred on a road that winds through many towns. Those who live in the area use the highway as a quick way to get around. Traffic patterns on roads similar to this have led to extensive studies on how to reduce the number of serious car crash accidents.

One new initiative has been started by auto manufacturer Audi called "Audi Urban Intelligent Assist." The program is working with four major universities in an effort to provide better information to drivers in large cities.

Researchers will determine where most crashes happen. Once they understand where the major trouble spots are located, they will begin to learn why these areas are so problematic. Pedestrian and vehicle traffic levels will be calculated, and consideration will be given to major events happening in the region.

Driver behavior will also be an aspect of the study, to understand preferences and stressors. Learning why a driver avoids certain areas can help plan safer routes, allowing the driver to bypass troubling locations. This information will be compiled and relayed to the driver in an appropriate format, depending on what works best for each individual.

Audi has committed at least three years to the project.

Sources:

NY woman, 34, pleads guilty in biker's road death

Audi Announces Three-Year Initiative to Make Urban Driving Safer