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I'm looking for something that would give statistics on my daily commute.

A friend of mine is thinking about leaving their job because the daily driving commute is too dangerous. Nearly got into two major accidents in the first two weeks.

What would be interesting is to investigate different times of travel, maybe reroute suggestions, based on different times of the year etc. lots of ideas but nothing comes to mind except tell the friend to go with their gut.

And yes "drive slower" has been offered as a suggestion. It would be interesting to know what lanes could be more dangerous too.

I'm looking for any ideas to help in this real life scenario. Would be interesting to see what kind of data is out there and how you could get it on a specific driving route.

There's lots of stats on accidents but not a tool that I know of to help you make a safer commute/pick a job with a safe commute. Maybe this tool is achievable with the right data set.

Chicago is a region of particular interest.

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    Is there a particular geographic region of interest? – philshem Aug 24 '15 at 14:50
  • move closer to work? Actually, you might suggest this as a potential feature to some of the traffic mapping apps (eg, Waze), as it sounds like it could be useful ... to answer things like 'how would my commute be if I moved there' or 'what could I do to improve my commute' (which is what Waze is supposed to do ... or so I've heard ... I have a WebOS phone) – Joe Aug 26 '15 at 0:17
  • Thanks joe. Yup I think we have three options: change the route, move where we live, or change/quit job. Yeah having a tool that could help make huge life decisions like this is super helpful. – Quincy Aug 26 '15 at 0:34
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Your friend needs to identify a number of factors:

  • What is the diurnal curve of daily traffic within the city? The graphic below was made by a news site, it shows the amount of traffic by hour. Based on this information, your best times to travel are before 7:00, 10:00 to 13:00, and after 19:00. I could not find any diurnal curve information from the City of Chicago, you may need to freedom of information request it.
  • What is the roadway layout on the roadway? The Highway Capacity Manual has a number of factors to identify area of concern. These factors include weaving, diverging, and merging movements on a roadway. The amount of distance you have to complete these actions increases your level of safety; identifying roadways where these factors are minimized, i.e. long on-ramps, plenty of space to make exit an on-ramp, will ensure a safer commute.
  • What is the Level of Service on the route your friend takes, how many intersections are failing, how many roadways are over capacity? Roadways with a failing level of service frustrate drivers who have to be somewhere on time, leading to an increase in the probability for reckless action. No statistics source for this one.

    Chicago-Area Traffic by Hour

These are a start on the way to making your commute safer.

  • Thanks this is insightful. I'll mark it as best answer if no one else adds an answer in the coming week – Quincy Aug 26 '15 at 0:36

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