The Evolving Role of Big Data in Accident Cost Containment

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Click to learn more about author Ben Hartwig.

Minimizing the costs of accidents is no easy feat. Doing the research or going through a massive amount of data can be strenuous. Not to mention, if you are not an expert, it will be extra challenging.

So if your company is looking for ways to minimize the costs of accidents, then you will benefit greatly from advances in big data. These improvements have made it easier for you to look for better approaches to preventing accidents. Regardless of your industry, big data will help you tremendously in safeguarding your company from possible penalties.

Let us take a closer look at how the function of big data has changed in accident cost containment.

USA Accidents Data Analysis

Overall, between the years 2016 and 2017, preventable accidents in the U.S. alone rose to 5.3 percent. And OSHA reported back in 2018 that workplace accidents had reached over 5,000 deaths.

In a more recent stat by Kaggle, based on 2016 to 2019 analyzed data, countrywide traffic accidents on average caused 37,000 deaths annually. Additionally, injuries and disabilities caused by road crashes were around 2.35 million a year — and that’s in the U.S. alone. Worldwide, about 1.25 million die in traffic accidents yearly.

Therefore, it seems that road accidents, including auto accidents due to speeding, are a very common mishap these days. Road accidents rank as the number nine leading cause of death worldwide. Not to mention, on a global scale, the cost of such accidents averages 518 billion USD annually — in just the United States, it translates to $230.6 billion a year.

Big Data Offers New Solutions to Accident Prevention

But most types of accidents can be prevented. And this is where big data can offer new solutions. Big data provides more accurate and detailed information, which can lead to more informed decisions. Consequently, this can reduce the severity as well as the frequency of preventable accidents.

Utilizing accident data can significantly improve safety in the future by providing insightful and valuable information. It is a massive data collection that includes reported (actual) accidents. Hence, accident data is an objective medium to use when designing safety protocols.

Moreover, aside from accident data, you should also heed near-miss reports. These are records of actual events or accidents that almost happened but were prevented. Some find this collection of data negligible, but make no mistake! Near-miss reports are equally important.

Near-miss reports provide insight into what accidents could have happened and what prevented them from happening. This data gives you a chance to analyze possibly catastrophic situations. As a result, you have the opportunity to deal with these types of situations properly in the future.

Accident and Emergency Safety Protocols

Even in this modern world, surprisingly, most companies are still making accident and emergency safety protocols that are just ineffective. Many businesses develop safety plans that are impractical too. As a result, these prove to be time and resource wasters.

Designing such protocols without using actual, relevant, and accurate data is useless. While, indeed, it is not possible to address every possible contingency, big data can better foresee potential situations to help you better prepare for them in the future. Reviewing this data can help you develop more effective safety standards.

Cost Management

Big data, particularly accident and near-miss data, will help you and your company save money. Employing its aid in developing and implementing better emergency safety protocols is a practical and wise decision — quite simply because fewer accidents and/or injuries mean less unanticipated costs.

And while it is true that, initially, you will need to spend more, such as investing in new equipment and employee training, the long-term benefits will outweigh your initial costs. More importantly, you will lower the possibility of dealing with expenses due to property damage, injuries, or death. Not to mention, you can avoid the stress and frustration brought about by catastrophic preventable accidents.


With such continuous improvement to the science of big data, its role in accident cost containment has evolved too — having a larger impact than ever before. Now, companies have a better chance of avoiding the risk of facing costly accidents and/or penalties. Today, big data plays a crucial role in solving challenges such as potential accidents, especially road and workplace accidents. With the latest predictive analytics as well as machine learning technology, companies can better address possible unforeseen events.

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