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Inattention at the wheel: Prevalence, consequences and countermeasures

Authors: Fridulv Sagberg, Hanne Beate Sundfør
Report nr: 1481/2016
ISBN: 978-82-480-1709-7
ISBN (digital version): 978-82-480-1708-0
Language: Norwegian
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A literature review of about 300 publications shows that driver inattention contributes to a considerable share of road crashes, with a minimum estimate at 12 percent of crashes. Texting on a mobile phone is associated with a very high risk, but causes relatively few crashes, since the prevalence is low. In comparison, adjusting radios or music players contributes to more crashes. A questionnaire study confirms the results of the literature review. In addition, it shows that cognitive distraction (daydreaming, etc.) is one of the most prevalent types of driver inattention. Young men have a higher prevalence of inattention during driving compared to other drivers, and they also rate the risk lower. Concerning countermeasures, drivers rate education and in-vehicle technologies as most effective, and phone applications regulating phone use during driving as least effective. Workplace-based measures have a considerable potential for preventing driver inattention.


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