Two national surveys by the Transport Research Laboratory asked drivers to describe briefly accidents in which they had been involved. This report is of two studies using these accident descriptions. The first provided estimates of the prevalence of different accident types on British roads and relationships between driver characteristics and involvement in different types of accident. It was estimated that at least 30% of all accidents were shunts, 20% involved a right of way violation, 15% involved the driver losing control of the vehicle and 10% occurred while at least one vehicle was reversing. 'Active' involvement in shunts was a function of being young and male. Commission of right of way violations was related weakly to lack of driving experience. Reversing into objects or vehicles was more common among younger drivers, and being young and male was strongly associated with losing control of the vehicle. In Study 2 it was found that there was quite a high degree of consistency over time in the kinds of accident to which individual drivers were at risk. The results indicate that a small number of accident types can form an appropriate focus for interventions aimed at reducing the overall accident rate in the population. Different accident types may require different types of intervention focused on different target groups. (A)

Want to know more about this project?