GPS Might Not Be Sending Drivers In Best Direction
Is the shortest route the safest?
Your GPS might direct you to the shortest route, but it’s not necessarily the safest. Texas A&M University researchers found taking a route with an eight percent reduction in travel time could increase the risk of being in a crash by 23 percent. Researchers only looked at data specifically pertaining to part of Texas, but found that overall, local roads with a higher risk of crashes include poor geometric designs, drainage problems, lack of lighting and a higher risk of wildlife-vehicle collisions. Researcher Dominique Lord says, “Navigation based safety, rather than travel time, can result in preventing crashes and promoting overall safety on the road network and eventually save lives.” Still, the researchers acknowledge that the study had some limitations, and that getting GPS to give the safest route would require the availability of data by local and federal government agencies responsible for road transportation, as well as real-time traffic flow information, incident reports, and accurate crash prediction models.