Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or at excessive speeds are widely considered to be the main causes of serious accidents involving a single vehicle. However, a new in-depth on-scene study in Sweden reveals that driver fatigue, slippery roads, and inexperience could be just as important and should be factored into the design of new vehicle safety features, according to researchers writing in the International Journal of Vehicle Safety.
Jesper Sandin and Mikael Ljung of the Vehicle Safety Division, at Chalmers University of Technology, in Sweden, used the Driving Reliability and Error Analysis Method (DREAM) to dissect the cause and effect of 38 single vehicle crashes that occurred in Gothenburg. They found that the crashes could be grouped into four scenarios. In the first scenario, vehicles drifted off road or into the oncoming traffic lane due to driver fatigue, sleepiness or distraction. In the second scenario, a loss of traction caused by an undetected slippery surface caused even experienced drivers to lose control in bends, the researchers explain.
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