Driver/Vehicle Characteristics in Rear-End Precrash Scenarios Based on the General Estimates System (GES) 1999-01-0817
Dynamically-distinct precrash scenarios in rear-end collisions were identified in a recent study conducted by the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, of the United States Department of Transportation, Research and Special Programs Administration, in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) using NHTSA's General Estimates System (GES) crash database from 1992 through 1996. Precrash scenarios represent vehicle dynamics immediately prior to a collision. This paper provides a statistical description of the five most frequently-occurring rear-end precrash scenarios in terms of vehicle and driver characteristics, using the 1996 GES database. The statistics presented in this paper encompass driver characteristics of the following vehicle including avoidance maneuver attempted before impact, crash contributing factors, driver age, and gender; vehicle body types involved in these rear-end precrash scenarios; and initial travel speeds of the following vehicle under various posted speed limits. The results of this study will be useful in estimating the safety benefits of advanced-technology rear-end collision avoidance systems in terms of both crash number reduction and severity mitigation.