New Texas A&M research could lead to safer routes on navigation apps and tools

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- We often rely on a navigation tool, like a phone app, to lead us to our destination. But could that jeopardize our safety? New research from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute shows that the fastest route is not always the safest one.

Researchers looked at routes between major Texas cities, including Houston. They examined more than 29,000 road segments, considering factors ranging from road design to historical data about crashes. The research conducted by Dr. Soheil Sohrabi and Dr. Dominique Lord, revealed routes with an 8% reduction in travel time showed an increased risk of being in a crash by 23%.

"It showed that the fastest route suggested by navigation apps is not necessarily the safest one," said Sohrabi.

No app or tool integrates the new research. The doctors hope with time that their work could be integrated into navigational technology to give drivers more options and make them more aware of the safety of their choices.

"We're not forcing anyone to use the safest route," says Lord. "It's just more information, and so it's going to be up to the user if he or she wants to use it."

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