Study Identifies Speed as Strongest Predictor of Crashes

Speed is identified as strongest predictor of crashes in new research 6 photos
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Researches at the University of Waterloo have published the findings of a new study that estimates the impact of aggressive driving, with speed identified as the strongest predictor of crashes.
In other words, put pedal to the metal and you’re more likely to get into a crash. To come to this conclusion, researches studied data from 28 million trips, looking for links between aggressive driving and the possibility of crashing. In terms of aggressive driving, they looked specifically at 4 bad driving behaviors: speeding, hard braking, hard acceleration and hard cornering, according to the study published by Science Daily.

The data was obtained from insurance companies in Texas and Ontario, from clients who had on-board diagnostic devices installed in their vehicles. Data from drivers guilty of one of these 4 bad driving behaviors who had been in a crash was compared to data of drivers not involved in any kind of event, who had not manifested one or more of these behaviors.

The conclusion is that speeding is the strongest predictor of crashes, but researchers warn that more analysis is needed to confirm the findings. However, these initial results could have an impact in the way insurance companies calculate premiums. Researchers believe a better way to do so would be by looking at actual driving behavior, instead of taking into calculation factors like age, gender and location.

“For insurance companies using this telematics data to assess who is a good risk and who isn't, our suggestion based on the data is to look at speed, at people driving too fast,” Stefan Steiner, a statistics professor in Waterloo's Faculty of Mathematics, says of the findings.

“Some of the results are no surprise, but prior to this we had a whole industry based on intuition,”
Allaa (Ella) Hilal, an adjunct professor of electrical and computer engineering, explains. “Now it is formulated – we know aggressive driving has an impact. Having this information exposed and understood allows people to wrap their minds around their true risks and improve their driving behaviors.”

Hilal adds that they are “super pumped” about the potential of the study.
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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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