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McClafferty J.A.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | Berlin S.P.,AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety | Hankey J.M.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Accident Analysis and Prevention

Seat belt use is one of the most effective countermeasures to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries. The success of efforts to increase use is measured by road side observations and self-report questionnaires. These methods have shortcomings, with the former requiring a binary point estimate and the latter being subjective. The 100-car naturalistic driving study presented a unique opportunity to study seat belt use in that seat belt status was known for every trip each driver made during a 12-month period. Drivers were grouped into infrequent, occasional, or consistent seat belt users based on the frequency of belt use. Analyses were then completed to assess if these groups differed on several measures including personality, demographics, self-reported driving style variables as well as measures from the 100-car study instrumentation suite (average trip speed, trips per day). In addition, detailed analyses of the occasional belt user group were completed to identify factors that were predictive of occasional belt users wearing their belts. The analyses indicated that consistent seat belt users took fewer trips per day, and that increased average trip speed was associated with increased belt use among occasional belt users. The results of this project may help focus messaging efforts to convert occasional and inconsistent seat belt users to consistent users. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Tefft B.C.,AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
Accident Analysis and Prevention

This study estimates the risk of severe injury or death for pedestrians struck by vehicles using data from a study of crashes that occurred in the United States in years 1994-1998 and involved a pedestrian struck by a forward-moving car, light truck, van, or sport utility vehicle. The data were weighted to correct for oversampling of pedestrians who were severely injured or killed. Logistic regression was used to adjust for potential confounding related to pedestrian and vehicle characteristics. Risks were standardized to represent the average risk for a pedestrian struck by a car or light truck in the United States in years 2007-2009. Results show that the average risk of a struck pedestrian sustaining an injury of Abbreviated Injury Scale 4 or greater severity reaches 10% at an impact speed of 17.1 miles per hour (mph), 25% at 24.9 mph, 50% at 33.0 mph, 75% at 40.8 mph, and 90% at 48.1 mph. The average risk of death reaches 10% at an impact speed of 24.1 mph, 25% at 32.5 mph, 50% at 40.6 mph, 75% at 48.0 mph, and 90% at 54.6 mph. Risks varied by age. For example, the average risk of death for a 70-year-old pedestrian struck at any given speed was similar to the average risk of death for a 30-year-old pedestrian struck at a speed 11.8 mph faster. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Williams A.F.,Allan F. Williams LLC | Tefft B.C.,AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
Journal of Safety Research

Background More than 40% of fatal crashes of 16- and 17-year-old drivers occur when transporting teenagers. Characteristics of this predominant crash type and prevention possibilities are described, based on data from fatal crashes in the United States during 2005-2010. Results Fifty-seven percent of 16- and 17-year old drivers in fatal crashes had at least one passenger. Most commonly, all passengers were ages 13-19 (42% of all drivers and 73% of those with passengers). Of fatal crashinvolved drivers with teenage passengers and no passengers of other ages, 56% had one passenger, 24% had two, and 20% had three or more. Most frequently, passengers were the same sex and within one year of the driver. Risk factors involving speeding, alcohol use, late-night driving, lack of a valid license, seat belt non-use, and crash responsibility were more prevalent with teenage passengers than when driving alone, and the prevalence of these factors increased with the number of teenage passengers. Many risk factors were most prevalent with passengers ages 20-29, although few crashes had this occupant configuration. Risk factors were least prevalent with a passenger 30 or older. Discussion Fatal crashes of 16- and 17-year-old drivers with teen passengers are a common crash scenario, despite passenger restrictions in 42 states and the District of Columbia during some or all of the study period. The proportion of these fatal crashes decreased slightly from 46% in 1995 (pre-GDL) to 43% in 2010 and showed no signs of decreasing during the six-year study period (range 41% to 43%). Practical applications Existing passenger restrictions are relatively weak and could be strengthened. Fatal crashes involving teen passengers, especially multiple passengers, are more likely to involve alcohol, late-night driving, driver error, and invalid licensure, so stepped-up enforcement of existing laws involving these behaviors might reduce the prevalence of such crashes. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Tefft B.C.,AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
Accident Analysis and Prevention

The proportion of motor vehicle crashes that involve a drowsy driver likely is greater than existing crash databases reflect, due to the possibility that some drivers whose pre-crash state of attention was unknown may have been drowsy. This study estimated the proportion of crashes that involved a drowsy driver in a representative sample of 47,597 crashes in the United States from 1999 through 2008 that involved a passenger vehicle that was towed from the scene. Multiple imputation was used to address missing data on driver drowsiness. In the original (non-imputed) data, 3.9% of all crashes, 7.7% of non-fatal crashes that resulted in hospital admission, and 3.6% of fatal crashes involved a driver coded as drowsy; however, the drowsiness status of 45% of drivers was unknown. In the imputed data, an estimated 7.0% of all crashes (95% confidence interval: 4.6%, 9.3%), 13.1% of non-fatal crashes that resulted in hospital admission (95% confidence interval: 8.8%, 17.3%), and 16.5% of fatal crashes (95% confidence interval: 12.5%, 20.6%) involved a drowsy driver. Results suggest that the prevalence of fatal crashes that involve a drowsy driver is over 350% greater than has been reported previously. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Aaa Foundation For Traffic Safety | Date: 2007-07-24

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