1983-02-01

Problems in Crash Avoidance and in Crash Avoidance Research 830560

This paper presents the methodology and results of an analysis of the available information on motor vehicle accident occurrence which could be used to provide a basis for establishing priorities for future Government and private sector work directed at enhanced crash avoidance or mitigation. The work was stimulated by several factors: (1) the absence of a recent and updated framework for problem evaluation; (2) motor vehicles have changed substantially in the past several years; (3) the quantity and quality of accident data and vehicle accident avoidance performance information have increased very substantially over the past 5 years; and (4) Government policies and the amount of Government and private sector resources available for future work have changed. This study takes the Agency's automated files on accident experience as the baseline information on motor vehicle involvement in accidents of all types. This information, in conjunction with exposure data, yields relative rates of accident involvement as a function of vehicle type, vehicle size, and accident category. Primary parameters used in the analysis include the identity and frequency of precrash conditions and the incidence of driver, vehicle, and environment related contributing factors. Two factors with major influences on the accident picture--car size and alcohol--are treated extensively. The paper concludes with an agenda for further attention which addresses the relative adequacy of data and methods available for sharper problem definition and exploration of solutions.

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