Case Study

Crash Analytics to help reduce the National Road Toll

Leveraging data with machine learning and analytics can help make a real difference in understanding and addressing various global or local social problems, including the New Zealand road toll.


The Challenge

A large Crown Entity wanted to gain insights into the root causes behind high death and serious incidents (DSI) rates occurring in a specific region of New Zealand. Statistical analysis was sought to confirm whether there was a relationship between certain factors (transport network design and socio-economic) and DSI rates.

The Solution

Harmonic constructed the data models necessary to assess whether anecdotal descriptions of DSI rates and causes were evidenced in data. These models utilised various data sources including crash data and The Department of Statistics’ Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI).

This analysis was then used to develop a highly visual and interactive crash analytics dashboard that could be used by a wide range of stakeholders. Each visual and interactive feature was carefully selected to improve the assimilation of crash analytics outputs.

Key features of the dashboard include a comparator view allowing different regions’ crash data to be compared, a word cloud identifying the causes of crashes for a selected area(s), and a geospatial view of crash counts and causes, covering the entire country.

The Result

  • A visual and interactive tool allowing for quick identification of area-specific road safety challenges.
  • Geographical visualisation of the roading network combined with analysis improved ease of scenario planning for engineering intervention.
  • Data-driven analysis and modelling provide greater clarity around the relationship between DSI rates and presumed contributing factors.
  • Improved confidence in the efficacy of area-specific interventions to reduce DSI rates.
  • The dashboard presents highly technical analysis and models in an easily assimilated form. This means insights can be harnessed by a wide audience and used for a variety of business purposes.