Distracted Drivers and Motor Vehicle Accidents

The Associated Press reported on a study last week that revealed the majority of motor vehicle accidents are caused by distracted or inattentive drivers.   Here is an excerpt of the article courtesy of the AP:

AP) – BLACKSBURG, Virginia-Eight out of 10 crashes in the United States involve drivers who are drowsy, chatting on a cell phone, applying makeup or otherwise distracted from the road ahead, according to a government study released Thursday that videotaped people behind the wheel.

Reviewing thousands of hours of video and data from sensor monitors linked to more than 200 drivers, researchers found that a wide range of distractions can lead to crashes or near-crashes.

Reaching for a moving object while driving increased the risk of a crash by nine times, while reading or applying makeup from behind the wheel enhanced the risk by three times. Dialing a cell phone, meanwhile, increased the risk of a crash by nearly three times, researchers found.

For more than a year, researchers with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute studied the behavior of the drivers of 100 vehicles in northern Virginia and metropolitan Washington, D.C., equipped with video and sensors. They tracked 241 drivers, who were involved in 82 crashes of various degrees of seriousness – 15 were reported to police – and 761 near-crashes.

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