Title: Understanding the causation of single-vehicle crashes: a methodology for in-depth on-scene multidisciplinary case studies

Authors: Jesper Sandin, Mikael Ljung

Addresses: Vehicle Safety Division, Department of Applied Mechanics, Chalmers University of Technology, Goteborg SE-412 96, Sweden. ' Vehicle Safety Division, Department of Applied Mechanics, Chalmers University of Technology, Goteborg SE-412 96, Sweden

Abstract: Knowledge of the interaction between and consequences of causation factors is essential when designing active safety measures. There is frequently a lack of adequate details in the area of causation, especially pertaining to Single-Vehicle Crashes (SVCs). This study describes the in-depth and on-scene investigations of 38 SVCs that took place in Gothenburg, Sweden. The causation factors involved were analysed using the Driving Reliability and Error Analysis Method (DREAM). The 38 SVCs were grouped into four scenarios. In the first scenario, vehicles drifted out of lane due to driver fatigue, sleepiness or distraction. In the second, an undetectable reduction in road friction caused experienced drivers to lose control in curves. Loss of control in curves was also a factor in scenario three, partly due to high speed. In this scenario, drivers overestimated their driving skills or had limited experience of the vehicle or the curve. In the final scenario, alarmed drivers lost control as a result of excessive steering-wheel manoeuvres. This study demonstrates a methodology that can be used to explain how a combination of factors may increase the risk of SVCs.

Keywords: single-vehicle crashes; precrash; driver error; causation; accident investigations; slipperiness; rollover; young drivers; risk perception; safety margins; vehicle safety; Sweden; driving reliability; error analysis; driver fatigue; sleepiness; driver distraction; road friction; curves; bends; loss of control.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVS.2007.015546

International Journal of Vehicle Safety, 2007 Vol.2 No.3, pp.316 - 333

Available online: 26 Oct 2007 *

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