Exploring rear-end roadway crashes from the driver's perspective
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Exploring rear-end roadway crashes from the driver's perspective

Filetype[PDF-1.76 MB]



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    This pilot study examined rear-end crashes from the driver's perspective to identify self-reported reasons and causes of such crashes, to identify commonalities in the self-reported causes and locations and circumstances of these crashes, and to explore the merit of using this approach to develop countermeasures to the rear-end crash. Focus groups and telephone interviews were used to obtain descriptions and perceptions of rear-end crashes from a sample of 26 subjects who had recently experienced such crashes as drivers of striking vehicles. Drivers tended to attribute the crash to different causes depending on how they were questioned about the crash. Actions of the other driver was the dominant contributing factor reported by most subjects when asked directly for causes of their crash. This was followed by personal inattention or distraction. Different responses, related to cognitive issues, were obtained when subjects were asked to explain what happened leading up to and during the crash. The majority of the reasons obtained by the second approach could be accounted for by subjects' problems with divided attention and incorrect assumptions about traffic movement. Classifying the crashes by cognitive issues provided an approach that could be applied to the development of concepts for countermeasures to rear-end crashes.
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