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

Loading...

Search Road Safety Articles

Latest Pages

Legal Duties after a Collision and Road Crash

Legal Duties after a Collision and Road Crash

A road crash happens fast and is a traumatic experience. It may leave you shaken, injured and unable to think clearly. For those reasons, it’s a good idea to review what to do if you’re in a road accident now. Then, if you’re ever involved in a crash, it will be easier to respond

Read More

Fleet Insurance and Truck Insurance for Commercial Vehicles

Fleet Insurance and Truck Insurance for Commercial Vehicles

Introduction The Fleet Management and Logistics Industry is one of the best indicators of the heartbeat of the economy of a country. Fleet management is a term used to describe the management of any/all aspects relating to a company’s vehicle. Fleet vehicles are those vehicles over which a

Read More

What would be the Best Photos to take at the Scene of a Road Crash?

What would be the Best Photos to take at the Scene of a Road Crash?

Much has been written about the dangers of cellular phones and the need to avoid them as typical distractions while driving. Modern-day cellular phones with built-in cameras could however also be a very important tool to gather evidence at an accident scene. The Arrive Alive website has approached well

Read More

Rights and Obligations when stopped by a Traffic Officer

Rights and Obligations when stopped by a Traffic Officer

Introduction This article constitutes an outline in respect of roadblocks and so-called “roadside checks”, as they are catered for in law and implemented in practical application. Although it contains quite a bit of information, it is not a comprehensive guide and does not encompass everything

Read More

Road Safety Conferences

Road Safety Conferences

The Arrive Alive web site supports those individuals and institutions who take the initiative to arrange road safety conferences in South Africa. We believe that this contributes to greater awareness of road safety and could assist in planning effective road safety strategies. The web site www.arrivealive.co.za

Read More

Overhang from a vehicle and flags for Safety

Overhang from a vehicle and flags for Safety

Introduction: We often find drivers transporting goods and materials that cannot safely fit inside their vehicles. This need not be your usual overloading but rather instances where the obect is to lengthy or wide to fit in the vehicle. These objects such as ladders are then transported on the

Read More

Load More Pages

Partners

View All