Driver inattention is the leading factor in most crashes and near-crashes, according to a landmark research report released today by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI).
Nearly 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involved some form of driver inattention within three seconds before the event. Primary causes of driver inattention are distracting activities, such as cell phone use, and drowsiness.
"This important research illustrates the potentially dire consequences that can occur while driving distracted or drowsy. Its crucial that drivers always be alert when on the road," said Jacqueline Glassman, acting administrator of NHTSA. Her remarks were made during a news conference today at VTTI in Blacksburg, Va.
The 100-Car Study and its follow-on analysis were co-sponsored by NHTSA, the Virginia Transportation Research Council (the research division of the Virginia Department of Transportation) and Virginia Tech.
The background and results of both studies are available on NHTSAs website under Research and Development.
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