Washington Signature
[ Search and Navigation ]   [ View Full Site ]

Geographic Information Systems

40 on 40 Super Bowl Initiative

Washington College’s GIS Program was honored to be a part of the 40 on 40 Super Bowl Initiative to help reduce impaired driving.

As soon as we received the request, our team of analysts and student interns began working to analyze the crash data along US Route 40 for the years of 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. Our analysis began by obtaining the 2011 to 2014 crash data from State Highway Administration (SHA) and preparing the data for mapping. A query was used to only select those crashes that were along US Route 40. Since this was an initiative for impaired driving, the crashes that were selected and mapped were only incidents where a driver was determined to be alcohol impaired through the driver condition, blood alcohol content, substance use detected, and contributing factor fields on the Maryland crash report.

The analysis delved into five separate jurisdictions that US Route 40 runs through: Howard County, Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Harford County, and Cecil County. For each jurisdiction, our team created buffer polygons that were then divided into individual segments that correspond to the locations of key intersections along US Route 40.

After querying down and organizing the data, the team was then able to provide a very detailed analysis for Maryland Highway Safety Office (MHSO) and law enforcement agencies who were assigned to this initiative. The team broke down the data into synopsis pages, where they analyzed four years’ worth of data to show which areas of US Route 40 had the highest number of alcohol-related crashes, crashes by severity, highest crash counts on individual days, months, and times, and the total number of alcohol-related crashes that occurred during past Super Bowl weekends on US Route 40, as well as which years had the highest percentages of crashes. Infographics were then produced to create a more visual approach to displaying where the alcohol-related crashes were occurring most frequently along each segment of the road, as well as including which parts of US Route 40 had the most severe and fatal crashes.

In addition to the synopsis page and the infographics, our team created a temporal topology as a visual approach to determining which days and times alcohol-impaired crashes are most likely to occur. All of these analyses were broken down by the five counties so that they could easily be distributed to the law enforcement agencies of each county.

Our synopsis, infographics, and temporal topologies were a great way for law enforcement to know which areas of US Route 40 needed focused patrolling to help keep the roadways a safer place during the Super Bowl weekend of 2016. Overall the analysis proved to be successful for the initiative and we were very excited to be a part of such a great effort!

Read more about the Initiative here on the Baltimore Sun!