Arrive Alive

Human Error As Major Cause Of Road Crashes

Human Error as Major Cause of Road CrashesHuman Error as Major Cause of Road Crashes

Driver fitness as an essential element in road safety is highlighted by international studies on the cause of most accidents. Driver Fitness can be summarized as the physical and mental ability of the driver to enhance safe driving.

Dr Green and Dr Senders discussed in an article titled "Human Error in Road Accidents" the reasons why humans make so many driving errors and they believe the answer is to be found in the inherent limitations of human information processing. Humans must rely on three fallible mental functions: perception, attention and memory.

Research on Human Error

Research has also shown that accidents occur for one of three principle reasons. The first is a perceptual error. Sometimes critical information was below the threshold for seeing - the light was too dim, the driver was blinded by the glare, or the pedestrian's clothes had low contrast. In other cases, the driver made a perceptual misjudgement (a curve's radius or another car's speed or distance).

The second and far more common cause is that the critical information was detectable but that the driver failed to attend/notice because his mental resources were focussed elsewhere. Often times, a driver will claim that s/he did not "see" a plainly visible pedestrian or car. This is entirely possible because much of our information processing occurs outside of awareness.

Mack and Rock (1998) have amazingly shown that we may be less likely to perceive an object if we are looking directly at it than if it falls outside the centre of the visual field. This "inattentional blindness" phenomenon is doubtless the cause of many accidents.

Lastly, the driver may correctly process the information but fail to choose the correct response ("I'm skidding, so I'll turn away from the skid") or make the correct decision yet fail to carry it out ("I meant to hit the break, but I hit the gas"). For response errors see "Medical Error and Mental Acts of God."

In South Africa, pedestrian fatalities have become a major contributor to road deaths. More than a third of childhood pedestrian deaths occurred over weekends and this has raised the question about drivers’ competence in terms of alertness, speeding, reaction time, and blood alcohol level. It is thus important that the Road Safety Strategy also focuses on the competence of our drivers to be alert and their ability both physically and mentally to make the right decision whilst driving.

An Informed Road User is a Safer Road User

An Informed Road User is a Safer Road User

Many of our road crashes can be prevented by addressing our driving style, behaviour and attitude towards driving. By developing the Arrive Alive website we believe that an informed driver will be a safer driver.

By creating an awareness among our drivers of the risks on the road and the knowledge on how to avoid these risks we will make our roads safer. This is done through the sharing of examples and gaining insights from experts in driver training.

Also view:

Bad Driving Habits and Unsafe Driving

Defensive Driving and Road Safety

Driver Experience, Inexperience and Road Safety

Advanced Driving, Defensive Driving and Road Safety

Search Road Safety Articles

Latest Pages

Transporting and using gas outdoors

Transporting and using gas outdoors

Using Gas during the Summer Festive Season Have you considered all the safety aspects when using your gas cylinder when travelling on vacation or spending time with family and friends in the outdoors? We asked our friends from Afrox and the LPGSASA for advice on how to do so safely: Transporting

Read More

Road Safety with a Cautious Smile for the Festive Season

Road Safety with a Cautious Smile for the Festive Season

The Arrive Alive Road Safety website would like to wish all road users a safe festive season on the road. This Festive Season we would like to combine the very serious message of Road Safety with a few cartoons to add a smile to the face of the South African motorist! We would like to share the following

Read More

LLumar Window Film and Road Safety

LLumar Window Film and Road Safety

Block Dangerous UV Rays LLumar window film blocks UV rays which may help to reduce your risk of skin cancer. Did you know car drivers have a higher rate of skin cancer on their window-side due to exposure while driving? LLumar automotive window film offers protection against UVA rays while sitting

Read More

Road Safety and your Cooling system

Road Safety and your Cooling system

The Cooling System/ Radiator and Vehicle Fitness How does my radiator affect my safety on the roads? It’s a part of the car that deteriorates with age and a component not always receiving the attention it deserves. People often argue “I will replace it when it leaks" or "I will

Read More

Trucking Wellness & HIV Treatment

Trucking Wellness & HIV Treatment

Introduction Trucking Wellness (TW) is an initiative of the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry (NBCRFLI), which was launched in 1999. The aim of Trucking Wellness is to provide primary healthcare to those employed within the Road Freight and Logistics (RFL) Industry,

Read More

Texting and Distracted Driving

Texting and Distracted Driving

Introduction and Background Distracted driving is described as an epidemic sweeping our roads. This topic is receiving much attention internationally and we would like to discuss in this section of the Arrive Alive website the global impact and the risks of texting and driving! It has been revealed

Read More

Load More Pages

Partners

View All