THP helping sheriff's offices predict where crashes may happen


TENNESSEE - There have been 85 deadly crashes throughout Northeast Tennessee since January 1st, 2017.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), 16 of those fatal crashes have been in Sullivan County, 12 in Greene County, and 10 in Hawkins County.

For the past four years, THP has been using a software that predicts where crashes are likely to happen.

Now, they're passing that system on to all 95 sheriff's offices in the state to make the roadways safer.

The software works by collecting crash data that goes back years. Those statistics then predict which areas are at high risk.

The data refreshes every four hours to give the most accurate information. It also takes weather conditions into account.

"It allows us to know when the weather is bad, where crashes are most likely to happen. So, we then deploy our resources... to an area during rain, during snow, whatever the situation is," explained THP Public Information Officer Lt. Bill Miller.

It also predicts where drug and alcohol incidents are prone to happen.

The data is color coated. Areas that pop up in red are zones deputies want to focus on.

People who live in Kingsport, near exit 59 on I-81, are happy to see this new technology implemented. There has been a crash in that area every year for three years.

"Between here and the airport.. my sister was traveling and called me up because there was a big tie up and it was in that section of the highway... The new software is a great thing," said Kingsport resident Dianne Hart.

That section of the interstate is currently under construction to widen the road.

THP wants to extend the technology to local police departments as well after the sheriff's offices are all adjusted.

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