Conference Proceeding

Indirect Clinical Evidence of Driver Inattention as a Cause of Crashes

  • Gary A Davis (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis)


A recent report from the 100-Car Study identified driver inattention as a significant risk factor for involvement in crashes or near-crashes. If in fact inattention is a cause of crashes, it should be possible to find at least indirect evidence of it by reconstructing actual crashes. This paper describes reconstruction of two rear-ending crashes on an urban freeway, one left-turn cross-path crash on a suburban arterial, and one vehicle/pedestrian collision. Bayesian reconstruction methods were used to estimate driver reaction times, and these were then compared to reaction time measures from the literature. The working hypothesis was that atypically long reaction times on the part of the colliding drivers would provide indirect evidence for driver inattention. It turned out that an atypically long reaction time was shown by only one of the four colliding drivers, but that other indications of inattention were found in two other crashes.

How to Cite:

Davis, G., (2007) “Indirect Clinical Evidence of Driver Inattention as a Cause of Crashes”, Driving Assessment Conference 4(2007), 217-223. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2007 the author(s)

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Published on
10 Jul 2007
Peer Reviewed