Analyzing safety data to determine the cause of accidents and identify high-accident locations helps to improve road safety and reduce accident severity. Accident records contain a vast amount of information describing almost every aspect of a collision; however, mining accident data tables requires an extensive knowledge of querying languages and familiarity with the data itself. Existing analysis tools are usually disjoint, stand-alone applications and are not linked to the database directly, which makes the analysis process slow. Furthermore, they are typically complex, cumbersome, and require extensive training for users to perform even the simplest of tasks. Joint efforts between CATT Lab and Maryland State Highway Administration has resulted in Explore and Visualize Crashes (EVC) as the solution to these problems.
EVC is a web-based application that gives a wide array of users the ability to query the accident data directly from a central database, from any computer, and analyze it through a series of connected visualizations. EVC was designed with user needs in mind and accommodates computer novices as well as proficient users. EVC is unique in that it does not require the user to be familiar with the structure of the data to be able to explore it.