Center for Analytics & Research in Transportation Safety (CARTS) is utilizing data visualization as an additional format to provide user groups with crash data information. Through the creation of Crash Data Infographics, CARTS has the ability to display collected and maintained crash data in a format in which the user can quickly and easily comprehend. The development of these Infographics provides CARTS an additional tool to inform, educate, and support decision making for the state of Louisiana.
While tabular data is appropriate in some cases, this format lacks ability to visually show trends and quickly identify problem areas. With this in mind, the Crash Data Infographics display crash data in a manner that is easy to understand, quickly shows problem areas, and displays data areas through many dimensions within a simple graph. Making the data more visually compelling lets users quickly identify trends that may have not been noticeable through traditional spreadsheets and advance their analysis of material. These Infographics also have the capability to use graphs to tell a story and make the data more accessible.
The Infographics use representative icons throughout the charts and other graphics to provide a rapid understanding of the subject matter. The Infographics normalize the data through comparison of the driver population among the associated region parishes. Showing population statistics provides a reference to examine the number of fatalities and serious injuries against. Comparing the data and population of parishes provides the viewer the ability to develop a simplified understanding of each region's problematic areas.
CARTS involvement with the Louisiana Strategic Highway Safety Plan (LASHSP) has provided the opportunity to assist the Louisiana Regional Safety Coalitions across the state by producing these Crash Data Infographics for each region. The Regional Safety Coalition Crash Data Infographics encompass the emphasis areas presented by the LASHSP from 2009-2012. Providing the Infographics to the Regional Safety Coalition contributes greatly to the LASHSP's countermeasure selection and therefore assists in driving Louisiana towards the goal of Destination Zero Deaths.
Through distribution and presentation of this data an accelerated awareness of problems are exemplified. Using data visualization as a methodology increases complexity, improves understanding, and speeds up the process of evaluation needed to implement countermeasures.