When looking at car accident data, the data used is whatever has been collected from the car crashes that happen every day and every year. But what about the almost crashes? They’ve happened to everyone. The time you dropped your lipstick on the ground and almost swerved into the car next to you when you were bending down to pick it up. The time you almost hit that biker that literally appeared out of nowhere. The time you looked at your phone for a split second and almost went through a red light and right into the mini van across the street. How many times a day do these almost accidents happen? Well, we don’t really know because they are just that… Almost accidents.
Can the data from these incidents help to prevent those accidents that actually do happen? Transportation Alternatives in NYC thinks that it can. “The near-miss and minor crash data just doesn’t exist. There’s no way to capture it because it is, by nature, unofficial,” explains Jennifer So Godzeno, the associate director for community research at Transportation Alternatives. “I’ve heard from so many citizens that ‘I see people almost get hit here all the time, and how come we have to wait until someone gets killed in order to fix it?’”
So, in order to start fixing this problem, Transportation Alternatives recently rolled out a web platform, CRASH stories NYC, which invites New Yorkers to map their run-ins and near-misses.
Do you think that this is something that can help prevent some future crashes? Is this a platform that should be rolled out nationwide? We want to hear from you with your opinion. To share your thoughts, visit SafeAuto on Facebook. .