How Utah Uses Big Data to Make Highways Safer

Using new data collection and analysis tools, traffic safety engineers can improve highway design.

Drivers along Interstate 80 in Northern Utah have an added layer of protection against out-of-control autos. Several years ago, a cable-barrier was erected in the median between the two directions of highway.

For that barrier, they can thank big data.

“Even though in many parts of [I-80] we have a very wide median, we found there was a need for additional shoulder protection, because of the types of crashes we were still having, explained” Robert Miles, director of traffic and safety at the Utah Department of Transportation.

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