GIS in Global Road Safety
Updated: Jul 15, 2021
The economic growth of a country depends upon its infrastructure mainly the transportation network, comprising of road, rail and air routes. The continuous socio-economic growth over the years is causing an increase in demand for logistics services sector which relies heavily on road transport. Hence, road safety is very crucial. GIS helps in reducing the probability of accident by the application of proper traffic control devices, and a sound roadway design practice.
GIS plays a vital role when it comes to global road safety
GIS in highway management
Highway maintenance management is a critical issue, which can be better harnessed using GIS. Many countries today actively use GIS for highways and transport management, because of falling costs and increasing ease.
The objective of using GIS is to visualize through maps. With visualization of real-time data, transport planners can easily identify potential issues that can be addressed more efficiently and economically than the prevailing methods. Through detailed GIS maps, this information is easily conveyed to decision makers and the public.
GIS for Road Safety Analysis
GIS has gained a reputation that provides a better visualization of a large data set for understanding and decision making processes. GIS provides maps which helps in identifying the crash concentration areas, located along the major road in the main urban areas. During the road safety analysis, GIS provides relevant data on road accidents, traffic and road characteristics.
Zonal crash frequency is also expressed through GIS, and shows association with several social-economic, demographic, and transportation system factors. Through spatial analysis of high risk areas, pedestrian crashes can also be mapped. With the help of GIS and point pattern techniques, mapping road-accident black zones can be conducted. GIS can also be used to explore the spatial variations in relationship between number of crashes and other explanatory variables.
GIS is used for modelling crash data at a small-scale level, which permits the identification of several areas with exceptionally high crash data. It endorses more effective reallocation of resources and more efficient road safety management.
GIS in traffic modeling
GIS data can also be transformed into functional road models for large-scale traffic simulation. GIS data can model road networks around the world as poly lines with attributes. Road maps from the GIS database can be extrapolated to automatically create geometrically correct and topologically consistent 3D models of large-scale road networks which can readily be used in a real-time traffic simulation, interactive visualization of the virtual world, and autonomous vehicle navigation. The resulting model representation could also provide important road features for traffic simulations, including smoothly connected ramps, highways, overpasses, legal merge zones, and intersections.
GIS in route planning
Route planning is an important application within transportation. Hurdles on routes can lead to unnecessary delays and losses. It is in favor of all businesses and people to know in advance which route is the best to follow. This knowledge can help in saving time and essentially gaining the best cost/benefit ratio.
GIS-based systems quickly provide and analyze essential economic, demographic and cost estimates for planning new routes. It helps in analyzing existing routes, collecting data and informing the riders to change the routes. Route planning is applied as a part of location planning, analyzing catchment areas for different sites, calculating overall drive-times to and from the site, maximizing potential customer inflow and ensuring best possible accessibility. GIS also helps the travelers to reroute if the probability of accident is high on one route.
Managing modern roadways is a complex affair. From computerized traffic control systems and safety management systems to effective capital improvement planning and maintenance activities, transportation planners must draw on a wide array of technologies to effectively manage today’s roadways. GIS can help transportation planners to integrate agency-wide information to achieve better operational efficiencies and results. By bringing in GIS in transportation, higher efficiency can be achieved in the entire infrastructure life-cycle i.e., from planning and design through survey and construction management to operations and maintenance. GIS helps in mitigating woes, both for the travelers and the planners. As the travelers get to know about the best routes for their destinations, avoid road accidents and enjoy increased road safety, transportation professionals get equipped with enhanced ability to manage their infrastructure.