The economic growth of a country depends upon its infrastructure mainly its transportation network, comprising of road, rail and air routes. Of all these, the road is critical and the crucial as it can connect all others with each other.A good network of roads is also important as it provides connectivity between rural and urban areas. Along with this, road safety is an equally important aspect of the connectivity part. It plays a key role towards a sustainable transportation development strategy and planning. The adverse impact of modern road transportation systems is injury and loss of life due to road accidents. While the number road accidents have been reduced in the developed countries, most developing countries are facing a grave and worsening situation when it comes to road safety. The continuous socio-economic growth over the years is causing an increase in demand for logistics services sector which relies heavily on road transport.
It has been observed and research shows that most of these accidents are a result of human error and carelessness on the part of the drivers or pedestrians involved with the situation. But with the help of GIS, the probability of occurrence along with its severity, can often be reduced by the application of proper traffic control devices, and a sound roadway design practices. The success or failure of such control devices and design specifications, however, depend extensively upon the analysis of traffic accident records at specific high-frequency locations. It has long been recognized that one of the effective means towards accident reduction lies in a systematic and scientific approach based on the use of accurate and reliable data regarding the accidents in these specific locations. However, the data required for such an analysis is not always available or accurate enough for analysis or research. Most of the accident information available in police records is unsuitable for research and analysis may not be utilized to the fullest extent. In Addition, records are also needed to provide facts to guide programs including enforcement, education, maintenance, vehicle inspection, emergency medical response services, and overall engineering to improve streets and highways.
Geographical Information System (GIS) technology has been a popular tool for visualization of accident data and analysis of hot spots on roads. Many law enforcement, transport and road safety agencies have been using GIS for accident analysis and research. Accident analysis research aims at the identification of high-frequency accident locations and safety deficient areas or sections of roads. So, agencies and officials can implement precautionary measures and efficient provisions for road safety. GIS is a technology for managing and processing locational and the related information to it. As it visually displays and represents the results of analyses, thus enabling sophisticated analysis and better decision-making when it comes to road safety. Recently, systems using GIS have been developed for use in various disciplines to road transport. Development of a system that uses GIS to analyze traffic accidents has been pursued toward improving the efficiency and effectiveness of traffic accident countermeasures. These functions are useful in devising accident countermeasures and are helpful for local administrations in making budgetary requests. In addition, comparison of accidents before and after countermeasures allows the evaluation of effectiveness in terms of accident reduction.
Road accidents are an unfortunate legacy of our transport and logistics revolution. Although various accident countermeasures are being taken, none have proven to be decisive or game-changing since the advent of this legacy. In addition, growing concerns among the commuters are necessitating a more effective and efficient infrastructure development based on road safety. The road accident analysis system with GIS is a promising road to better road safety.
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