You may not think about it but driving is the single most dangerous thing that most of us do. More than 6,000 people are injured in traffic accidents in the US every day. For years, ever since the days of Ralph Nader and “Unsafe at Any Speed” car manufacturers have been working to make car collisions more survivable. And they have, cars today are safer than ever before. But what about the other part of the equation, the drivers? Are drivers safer today than ever before? No, in fact arguably drivers are worse. The culprit you’ve probably heard about through news reports. It’s the one thing we can’t seem to live without, our smartphone. It distracts with text messages, emails, calls, and videos. It’s so bad that smart phone manufacturers like Apple and Google go out of there way to create features that basically break your phone while you’re driving. But what if rather than breaking your phone, we could make your phone a force for good while you drive. What if we could exploit what it’s best at, providing useful information when you need it?
The worst kept secret in the world of traffic safety that the majority (more than half) of all accidents are avoidable. In fact there is so much data to back this up that experts in the field don’t even like to refer to them as “accidents”, they prefer the word “collisions” since accident implies that there is nothing you can do to stop it. Why are collisions avoidable? Because driver behavior is predictable, it follows patterns. Collisions happen for known reasons, in known locations, at known times. Go talk to your local police, or to tow truck drivers, or to paramedics. They know where accidents occur. Do you?
This is where your phone enters the story. What if rather than distracting you with your friend’s latest cat pictures or some crazy political tweet, your phone could be a force for good, giving you information to help you stay safe while you drive. What if your phone could speak, telling you when you’re approaching an area where a lot of accidents occur? What if it could do even better, what if it could also tell you what to watch out for, and what if it could warn you only when conditions make an accident most likely?
This is the promise of our new app “WatchOut – Drive Safer”. This is only possible because we’ve scaled up collision analysis to a whole new level. We leverage machine learning algorithms to analyze the details of more than 30,000,000 traffic collisions across the country. Our technology identifies locations, causes, and circumstances of collisions then provides recommendations to drivers on how to avoid them. It has allowed us to leverage our cloud to create an entirely new class of mobile application. One that empowers drivers with detailed location specific information that they can use to prevent accidents. “Drive Safer”, yes now there’s an app for that!
How can WatchOut – Drive Safer help me?
- Driving at night on a windy 2-lane road? Most turns don’t cause accidents, want to know which ones really put you at risk? We’ve got you covered.
- Do you ignore that deer crossing sign because you’ve never seen a deer there? Deer collisions typically only occur during certain times of day, during certain times of year. We’ll only warn you when the data shows a collision is most probable.
- The most common type of car collision is a rear-end collision. Most rear-end collisions occur because the driver fails to realize that there is traffic stopped ahead. We’ve analyzed rear-end collisions and we can warn you when you’re approaching an area such as a tunnel, turn, or traffic light where rear-end collisions are likely. The warning can be the hint you need to re-focus on traffic in front of you and avoid the accident.
- With a renewed focus on healthy living and the increasing expense of owning a car, more people in urban areas are riding a bike than ever before. While most other accident types have slowly declined, bike accidents are on the rise. We’ll tell you where and when bike accidents are most likely to occur.
WatchOut – Drive Safer will alert you to more than 20 different common causes of accidents. As a bonus while you’re not driving, you can explore a map of the area around you and discover locations of high risk. This can be invaluable for new drivers or to familiarize yourself when you travel to a new area.
It’s time to make your phone a force for good while you drive. It’s time to use modern science to revolutionize not just the car, but the driver. They say that knowledge is power. Take a minute, use your phone, gain some knowledge, gain some power. Become a better more informed driver. Remember it’s not an accident if you could have avoided it.