1.  Seat Belts
2.  Drowsy Driving
3.  Distracted Driving
4.  Aggressive Driving/Road Rage
5.  Motorcycle Safety
6.  Impaired Driving
7.  Novice Drivers
8.  School Bus Safety
9.  Airbags
10.  Railway Safety
11.  Trucks
12.  Motor Vehicles
  1. AAA-CMC and AT&T Provide Wireless Phone Safety Tips
  2. AAA Examines Relation of Radios to Driver Distraction
  3. Driver Inattention Training Tips
  4. Drive Time is not Down Time
  5. Harvard Study: More info needed on Phone use while Driving
  6. Infant Distraction, Safety Seats, Discourage Drivers, Auto Makers
  7. NETS Targets distracted drivers, announces drive safe week
  8. NHTSA: Whites, Females Most Likely to Use Phones While Driving
  9. Phone Use, Other Distractions Scrutinized at Committee Hearing
  10. Public backs Restrictions on Cell Phone Use
  11. Survey finds most motorists believe Cell Phones are major distraction
  12. Traditional Driving Distractions also a Problem
  13. UMTRI Studies Ways to Combat Driver Distractions

AAA-CMC and AT&T Provide Wireless Phone Safety Tips

Responsible use of wireless phones while driving is the focus of a traffic safety campaign created by the AAA – Chicago Motor Club and AT&T Wireless Services.

 “Distracted driving is always a major concern, whether the distraction is reading a newspaper, drinking coffee, or talking on the phone while a motorist is behind the wheel,” says Norma Cooper, AAA – Chicago Motor Club spokesperson.   “We must remember to use common sense when behind the wheel of a two thousand pound vehicle.”

 The safe operation of your car or truck is your primary responsibility.  Do not let anything – a wireless phone call, the radio/CD/tape, the kids, applying makeup, shaving, a newspaper, food and beverages – distract you from the safe operation of your vehicle.

 Unquestionably, wireless phones have had a positive impact on public safety.  Motorists can now call for help instantly and from almost anywhere.  The Cellular Telecommunications Industry estimates that more than 100,000 emergency 911 calls are placed on wireless phones every day in America.  However, drivers must not let this potentially lifesaving tool distract them from driving safely.

 AT&T Wireless Services and the AAA – Chicago Motor Club offer the following tips for drivers:

  •  Always buckle up.

  • Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.

  • Don’t let a phone call distract you from driving safely.

  • Allow voice mail to handle your calls and return them at your convenience.

  • Pull off the road to a safe area or ask a passenger to make or take a call for you.

  • Position the phone in easy reach.

  • Use a hands-free device if available.

  • Suspend conversation during hazardous driving conditions.

  • Do not engage in stressful or emotional conversations while driving.

  • Never take notes or look up numbers while driving.

The AAA- Chicago Motor Club and AT&T Wireless Services have been informing consumers about the safe use and operation of wireless phones for years.

 From the point when new customers receive their “wireless welcome kit” to consumer advertising and sales collateral, safety tips are an integral part of AT&T Wireless Services’ communication with the customer.

AAA-Chicago Motor Club provides automotive, insurance, travel, and financial services to more than 750,000 members in Illinois and Northern Indiana.

This document was last updated on May 6, 2000.

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AAA Foundation Examines Relation Of Radios to Driver Distraction

More complicated radios could be leading to increased driver distraction, according to a new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Almost 2,000 people responded to the survey, which recorded vehicle model year and the number of buttons on the radio. Seventy percent of the vehicles manufactured prior to 1990 had fewer than 11 buttons to control the sound system, while 65 percent of cars from model year 2001 had more than 11 buttons.

The data aren't "exactly scientific," according to AAA Foundation president David Willis, "but driver distraction is an important cause of crashes, and one of the biggest distractions is tuning the radio. This survey suggests that radios are getting more complicated, which means drivers must take more attention away from the road in order to pick their stations."

The foundation pointed out that tuning a radio is only one of many driver distractions. A more detailed study that uses crash reports and recorded observations of driver behavior is currently under way at the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center. Results are expected in late 2001.

This document was last updated on March 23, 2001.

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Driver Inattention Training Tips

  • Before entering your vehicle, prepare for the drive by looking for people and hazards in the area.
  • Shift your eyes every two seconds and check the rear-view mirror every five to eight seconds. This keeps your eyes ahead of the vehicle and your brain focused on driving.
  • Plan ahead to avoid the need for backing up. If you must go in reverse, back in, not out.
  • When approaching construction zones, be extra attentive, slow down and watch for workers, changing road surfaces and traffic patterns.
  • Drive defensively. Expect the unexpected and always leave yourself an out.
  • Signal you intentions early enough to give others more time to prepare for your next move. Being aware of others is only half of being attentive. Make sure they are aware of you, too!

    Today, the media often focus on in-vehicle electronics, especially cell phones, as the villain in crashes related to distracted drivers. NETS has not identified valid scientific data that supports these claims, but it just stands to reason that electronic equipment may cause distractions.

    Training tips, provided by the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, that address the use of in-vehicle electronics such as cell phones include:

  • Get to know your phone and its features, such as speed dial.
  • Use a hands-free device.
  • Position your phone within easy reach.
  • Let the person you're talking to know that you're driving; if necessary, suspend the call in heavy traffic or hazardous weather.
  • Do not take notes or look up phone numbers while driving.
  • Do not engage in stressful or emotional conversation that might divert your attention from the road.
  • Use your phone for help to assist in emergencies.

This document was posted on December 15, 1999.

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Drive Time Is Not Down Time

At one time or another, we've all been distracted while driving, some of us more than others. Becoming distracted is not that hard to do. Simply gazing out the window, searching for the perfect mood music on the ride home, or biting into a sloppy burrito can cause our focus on driving to be interrupted.

What's so disturbing is that most drivers don't consider themselves distracted. In an era of multi-tasking, drivers don't think twice about eating in the car, while reading a newspaper, and talking on their cell phone during their commute to and from work or while driving for their job.

One way to combat driver distraction is to educate people on encounters and what type of solutions there are.

The tool kit includes four components:

  • A video that describes various distractions and how people can better manage them.
  • A Leader's Guide to be used with the video.
  • A Rate-Your-Risk Quiz to help each participant measure their own behavior and how much risk they expose themselves to behind the wheel.
  • Pledge cards to write down how they will change their driving behavior in the future based on what they have learned.
  • Samples of incentives that employers and other can order to distribute to individuals who complete the program. The incentives include a Road Scents car deodorizer and a Road Sense static cling to place in a car window to remind the driver to pay attention.

The kit is user-friendly and is designed for employers, highway safety offices, police departments, Safe Community coordinators and driver training instructors to use in demonstrations to employees, parents, and others interested in highway safety.

The cost of the kit is $89 for nonmembers and $69 for members and will be available for purchase July 1. You can order via the NETS online resource center at www.trafficsafety.org or by calling our fulfillment house at 1-877-337-4450.

This document was last updated on February 25, 2001.

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Harvard Study: More Information Needed on Phone Use While Driving

While using a cellular phone while driving poses a risk to the driver, other motorists, and pedestrians, those risks appear to be small compared to other daily risks, according to new research from the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis (HCRA). The exact risks are uncertain because existing research is limited and of "uneven quality."

The adverse effects of cellular phone use while driving are not large enough to be detected in overall counts of fatalities, according to the study. The authors note that while phone use has grown 17-fold from 1990 to 1998, traffic fatalities have steadily decreased in the past 30 years.

The study estimates that the voluntary risk of fatality for the user of a cellular phone while driving is about six chances in 1 million per year. However, this is an estimate based on limited data and depends on a number of assumptions. The involuntary risk that someone will be killed by a driver using a cellular phone is about one chance in 1 million per year. This is smaller than the risk of being killed by a drunk driver, according to John D. Graham, Ph.D. and his coauthors.

Traffic accidents that involve cell phone use while driving are more likely to be nonfatal because a significant percentage of calls are made during rush hour, when traffic conditions reduce the risk of a fatal crash, according to the study.

Benefits of Cell Phones

The study highlights benefits of cellular phone use while driving. For families and individuals this includes peace of mind, reducing the number and duration of trips, expanding productive time, contacting emergency services, and strengthening social networking. The community benefits through decreased accident response times, improved knowledge about emergencies for emergency response teams, improved lifesaving outcomes, and more effective apprehension of criminals.

The study notes that "it may be premature to enact substantial restrictions at this time. We simply do not have enough reliable information on which to base reasonable policy." Currently, Brooklyn, Ohio; and Hilltown, Conshohocken, and Lebanon, Pa.; have passed laws banning the use of hand-held (not hands-free) phones while driving.

As a result of this lack of reliable information, HCRA recommends that government and industry collect better scientific information on risks and benefits and, in the interim, encourage more selective use of cellular phones while driving through vigorous public education programs.

For more information, visit the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis website, www.hcra.harvard.edu.

In a related survey, more than 62 percent of Minnesota residents say they have witnessed unsafe driving caused by drivers using cell phones, according to Allina Health System. While 20 percent said they don't observe a self-imposed ban on using their cell phone while driving or using a hands-free device, almost all of those polled said they believe it is dangerous to use a phone while driving.

Paramedics with Allina Hospitals & Clinics Medical Transportation see drivers using cell phones almost on a daily basis. "Inattentive drivers can pose additional hazards for our paramedics responding to medical emergencies," said ambulance manager Susan Long. "The bottom line is that your attention has to be on driving."

This document was last updated on February 25, 2001.

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Infant Distraction, Safety Seats, Discourage Drivers, Auto Makers

Almost 60 percent of U.S. parents believe driving alone with infants in rear-facing car seats in back seats is "very distracting." Eighty percent also fear it could cause an accident, according to a recent survey from the Fraser Group and NFO Worldwide.

Unlike older children, infants need constant attention from the caregivers. The more anxious the infant is, the more likely he or she is to distract the driver from paying attention to the road. The survey indicates that this distraction may be increased by putting the infant in a position where he or she cannot be seen.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advises parents to put infants and children under age 12 in the back seat because small bodies cannot withstand the power air bags transmit when they are deployed. The industry is working to lessen the blows of air bags through passenger-side air bags that can be switched on and off. Another possibility in development is a rear-facing infant seat built to absorb the shock of an air bag deployment.

These new solutions are favored by parents. Survey results show that:

  • 95 percent said it is easier to watch an infant riding in the front seat.
  • 83 percent believe fewer accidents would happen with infants in the front seat.
  • 73 percent said they would use an air-bag compatible rear-facing infant seat.

For more information, call Barry Maners, the Fraser Group, (317) 859-8390.

Car Seat Installation an Obstacle for Many

In addition to driver distraction, another concern for parents is correctly installing child safety seats. Studies show that nationally, eight out of 10 safety seats are improperly installed. Both parents and auto makers have a difficult time with this task.

A recent community-wide child safety seat checkpoint at DaimlerChrysler headquarters showed that 90 percent of employees who had their child safety seats inspected had installed the seats wrong.

"It's ironic that as auto makers we have as much trouble installing a child safety seat as anyone else," said Ronald Boltz, senior vice president of regulatory affairs and general manager of passenger car operations at DaimlerChrysler.

During the inspection, only four of 56 seats were correctly installed. Nine seats were so damaged that they were replaced with loaner seats.

"With so many car seats and different types of vehicles on the market, it's no wonder parents and caregivers find it so confusing," said Peter Palm, a Fit for a Kid inspector.

DaimlerChrysler launched Fit for a Kid to provide free child safety seat inspections to its customers through a network of its dealerships across the country (H&V/SR, June 29, 1999). By the end of 2000, the campaign will have had the capacity to inspect more than 800,000 child car seats.

For additional information, call Sheila Gruber McLean, DaimlerChrysler, (248) 512-2986.

This document was posted on December 15, 1999.

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NHTSA: Whites, Females Most Likely to Use Phones While Driving

Three percent, or 500,000, drivers talk on hand-held cell phones at any given time, according to a new survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The research did not cover hands-free phones. It also did not assess the contribution of cell phone use to traffic crashes. However, NHTSA data indicate that some form of driver distraction is a contributing factor in 20-30 percent of all crashes.

The highest cell phone use rate, 8 percent, was by drivers of vans and sport-utility vehicles during non-rush hours. Use rates by drivers of all types of passenger vehicles were almost twice as high during non-rush hours than rush hours. Cell phone use was higher on weekdays than on weekends.

Females used cell phones more frequently than male drivers, particularly drivers of vans and SUVs, where use rates were nearly twice as high as male drivers (6.1 vs. 3.2 percent).

There was little difference in cell phone use in the young adult age group (16 to 24) compared to the adult age group (24 to 69). In contrast, seniors (70 and older) were much less likely to use cell phones than the other two age groups (1.4 vs. 3 percent).

"White" drivers used phones more often than drivers classified as "black" or "other races" (3.7 compared to 2.3 and 1.7 percent, respectively).

Results of the study are available on the NHTSA website, www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/ncsa.

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NETS Targets Distracted Drivers, Announces Drive Safe Work Week

The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) has developed a campaign to combat distracted drivers. Who's Driving? focuses on stopping distracted driving before it starts.

Driver surveys reveal that the most common distractions are: tuning a radio, eating, drinking, conversing with passengers, reading and writing, talking on the phone, and personal grooming. Research indicates that activities that take a driver's mind away from driving are just as problematic as taking one's eyes off the road or hands off the steering wheel.

Driver inattention is a factor in an estimated 25 to 50 percent of collisions, according to NETS. Each day, driver inattention is a contributing factor in 4,000 to 8,000 crashes. The societal cost of driver inattention is $40-$80 billion annually.

A high percentage of NETS survey respondents acknowledged that they engage in activities that can lead to distracted driving. Seventy percent said that talking to passengers is something they do routinely, 47 percent admitted they adjust radio or climate controls while behind the wheel, 29 percent eat or read, and 26 percent pick up things that fall. Nineteen percent of survey respondents said they talked on the phone. Only 15 percent said they do none of these things while driving.

Respondents cited distracted driving as the fourth most serious driving safety issue, following drunk driving, aggressive driving, and speeding.

Campaign Addresses Warning Signs

The NETS campaign includes an instructional video and curriculum that teaches employees how to recognize the warning signs of distracted driving and techniques to manage potential distractions. Common scenarios are profiled and real-world strategies are discussed. The primary targets for the program are organizations working with NETS, but employee families and the public will also benefit.

Motor vehicle crashes involve nearly 40 percent of workers annually, causing employees to miss an average of 5.3 hours of work, according to a survey by the American Automobile Association and Nationwide Insurance. To bring traffic safety into the workplace, NETS is sponsoring the fourth annual Drive Safely Work Week in September.

This campaign will focus on five key issues: occupant protection, impaired driving, aggressive driving, sharing the road safely with trucks and other large vehicles, and driver distraction.

NETS is offering a program tool kit that contains tips, ideas for activities, resources, and other items for organizations to get involved. Last year, more than 2,500 groups participated in the program, which reached more than 2.3 million employees.

For more information, contact NETS, 1900 L Street NW, Suite 705, Washington, DC; (888) 221-0045; website www.trafficsafety.org.

This document was last updated on February 25, 2001.

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Phone Use, Other Distractions Scrutinized at Committee Hearing

The potential distractions in vehicles caused by electronic devices-such as cell phones, navigation systems, and onboard computers were discussed at a recent House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit hearing.

The hearing was intended to educate House members and the public about an issue that has recently received much national attention. Driver distractions are a factor in approximately 20-30 percent of vehicle crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. However, there is a lack of data and a difficulty in defining what actually constitutes a "driver distraction."

Rep. Don Young, R-Ala., testified: "Before we rush to judgment on any one of the distractions, like wireless telephones, it is important that the committee works to fully understand the entire issue and the magnitude of the problem ... Improving the data to better understand how many and what type of accidents involve distracted drivers will be an important first step as Congress works to address safety concems associated with distracted drivers."

More Information Needed

Hearing participants agreed that more research and better data are needed to better understand driver distraction. Some witnesses recommended improved education of the various types of technologies. Others suggested banning the use of portable hand-held devices in vehicles.

Patricia Pena, found of Advocates for Cell Phone Safety, wants lawmakers to restrict or ban the use of cell phones by drivers. "We now know that talking on a cellular phone and driving represents a significant risk to public safety," she said.

But Rep. Mark Kennedy, R-Minn., stated, "I hope we can continue to focus on using technological advances to improve driver safety."

NHTSA executive driector L. robert Shelton said an agency survey due for release this summer found that approximately 39 percent of motorists report that they talk on the phone while driving.

Also, of the 98,000 emergency cell phone calls made per day, many come from callers in vehicles, and these calls can save crucial time in highway emergencies. "Out problem now is to understand a new set of distractions associated with an ever-growing array of new in-vehicle electronic devices, referred to as 'telematics,' rapidly being developed by the electronics and automobile industries," Shelton noted.

UNC Study Yields Unexpected Results

According to a new University of North Carolina (UNC) Highway Safety Research Center study, 284,000 distracted drivers are involved in serious crashes each year. But cell phone use was on the bottom of the list of distractions.

Dr. Jane Stutts of LTNC testified at the May 9 hearing. She said the study found that most drivers were distracted by: seeing something outside the vehicle (29.4 percent), adjusting a radio or CD player (I 1.4 percent), talking with other occupants (IO. 9 percent), adjusting climate controls (2.8 percent), eating or drinking (1.7 percent), using a cell phone (1.5 percent), and smoking (0.9 percent).

Drivers under 20 were more likely to be dis- tracted by tuning the radio or changing CDs, while adults 20-29 seemed more distracted by other passengers. Drivers over 65 were more distracted by objects or events happening outside the vehicle.

Following release of the study, funded by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, AAA officials announced at the hearing that it will address distracted driving with a 10-Point Action Plan:

  • launch a national education campaign
  • work with state departments of motor vehicles to educate novice drivers
  • test telematics devices
  • develop voluntary safety standards for telematics devices
  • collaborate with policymakers
  • encourage new research
  • disseminate current research
  • revise AAA driving training manuals to incorporate instructions on driver distractions
  • encourage corporations to educate their comployees and customers
  • educate AAA employees

This document was last updated on July 20, 2001.

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Public Backs Hours of Service, Restrictions on Cell Phone Use

More than half of Americans believe that increasing the amount of time a truck driver is allowed to drive without a break from 10 to 12 hours is unsafe, according to a new survey by the Insurance Research Council (IRC).

Fifty-six percent would be willing to pay more for goods and shipping to have truck drivers' total working hours reduced to no more than 12 hours per day. Eighteen percent were willing to pay 1 percent more, another 18 percent would pay 3 percent more, 12 percent would pay 5 percent more, and 8 percent were willing to pay 10 percent or more.

Sixty percent of Americans reported seeing a large truck being operated in an unsafe manner "frequently," "fairly often," or "sometimes." Eighty-one percent opposed allowing bigger tractor-trailers on the road, which would increase the trucking industry's efficiency but would be harder to control and be potentially threatening to highway safety.

The survey also determined that 91 percent of Americans believe the use of cellular phones while driving distracts drivers and increases the likelihood of crashes. Despite this belief, overall self-reported cell phone use while driving has actually increased in the last three years, largely because cellular phone ownership has nearly doubled since 1997.

Sixty-nine percent favor laws to ban cellular phone use while driving, but only one-third think it is likely that people would obey. Less than half think that safety campaigns are likely to reduce cellular phone use while driving.

The IRC survey was based on interviews with 1,000 individuals 18 years old and older. For more information, contact Elizabeth Sprinkel, IRC senior vice president, (610) 644-2212; e-mail irc@cpcuiia.org; website www.ircweb.org.

This document was last updated on March 23, 2001.

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Survey Finds Most Motorists Believe Cell Phones Are Major Distraction

A vast majority of adults believe using a cell phone while driving impairs a person's ability to drive, according to a new survey by the Farmers Insurance Group. Eighty-seven percent of respondents held this view. Only 2 percent of drivers said they had been in a crash in which one of the drivers was using a cell phone, but more than 40 percent reported to have had "close calls or near misses" with a driver who was on the phone.

According to company official Kenneth Adams, "While Farmers Insurance promotes the idea of drivers carrying a cell phone in their car in case of emergencies, we don't recommend people use a phone while they are driving."

The insurance group has complied several tips for drivers who use cell phones:

  • If possible, use a hands-free device such as an earpiece or cradle.
  • Don't take notes or look up numbers while driving.
  • Place calls when you are not moving or before pulling into traffic.
  • Keep conversations short; don't use the phone for social visiting while you drive.
  • Suspend the call in heavy traffic, hazardous weather, or stressful conditions.

"If you need to use your phone while you are in your vehicle, we ask that you pull off the road to use it," Adams cautioned. "You still have the convenience of making calls from your vehicle. You're just not endangering yourself or other motorists by using the phone in traffic."

For more information, call Adams, Farmers Insurance Group, (323) 932-3016.

This document was last updated on June 16, 2000.

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Traditional Driving Distractions Also a Problem, NAGHSR Cautions

The National Association of Governors' High- way Safety Representatives (NAGHSR) has issued a warning about distracted driving. According to NAGHSR chair John Moffat, cell phones aren't the only problem: "I'm concerned that the focus on technology is overriding the fact that many crashes can be attributed to traditional distractions and not cell phones or other high-tech advances."

Other actions, such as changing a CD, eating, and reading contribute to many crashes even though the media has focused on cell phones, Moffat cautioned at a recent panel convened by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Driver inattention is a factor in 25-50 percent of highway collisions, or 4,000-8,000 crashes every day, according to NHTSA. Research indicates that drivers continue to engage in traditional distractions that can lead to a crash.

A survey by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) showed that almost 50 percent of drivers adjust the radio/CD player or climate controls while driving. Over one-quarter of respondents admitted to reading, eating, or picking up something on the floor. Only 19 percent said they talked on the phone while driving.

Even though traditional distractions are dangerous, Moffat predicts that the focus on banning cell phone and technology will continue to be debated. Over 300 local jurisdictions have considered or are considering such ordinances.

Meanwhile, manufacturers are developing technology to allow drivers to e-mail and surf the Internet from the car. For example, General Motors has a voice-activated system that allows drivers to send and receive phone calls, e-mail, and some limited Internet information.

"While perhaps not as glamorous as the high-tech risks, I hope people remember that traditional distractions continue to pose significant danger," Moffat advised. "A driver's primary responsibility is the safe operation of that vehicle."

This document was last updated on February 25, 2001.

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UMTRI Studies Ways to Combat Driver Distraction

Researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) are working on various ways to decrease driver distraction, including understanding driver attention lapses, distractions outside the vehicle, and in-vehicle telematics.

"Essentially, everything that distracts from driving is a potential hazard," said UMTRI associate re- search scientist Fritz Streff. "Of course, some tasks have benefits that are acceptable. 'Be question is, and no one really agrees, where to draw the line."

Distraction can be both physical and cognitive. For example, talking on a cell phone is not only distractive because of the dialing and holding, but also because talking tends to shift perceptions and you are 'looking without seeing,' Streff explained. Distractions inside the vehicle (e.g., spilling coffee or answering a cell phone) cause 9 percent of crashes. These could be reduced by controlling the distraction, with measures such as cup holders and hands-free phones.

Other cognitive distractions include aggression, fatigue, and mental distraction.

It's not certain what percentage of crashes is related to aggression or road rage, but drivers between the ages of 18 and 25 have the highest aggressive driving tendency, followed by single drivers and drivers aged 26 to 29.

To alleviate this behavior, UMTRI recommends reducing the number of frustrations drivers encounter, including reduced road congestion through increased road construction, development and use of alternate routes, and better crash response and cleanup. Also, radio broadcasts and electronic message signs that alert drivers of upcoming driving conditions could help.

Driver sleepiness causes about 2 percent of all motor vehicle crashes. Only one strategy can com- bat this problem: sleep. Rolling down the windows, turning up the radio, or stopping to stretch are "not supported as being effective," said UMTRI.

Drivers can also be distracted by things outside the vehicle such as accidents and construction sites.

Some solutions are simple, such as using sheet plastic to mask buildings under construction or screening crash sites. However, these solutions require a balance of efficiency, safety, and cost.

About 15 percent of crashes are caused by driver preoccupation, according to UMTRI. Noticeable stimuli, such as daytime running lamps or signs that display traffic conditions, can shift a person's focus back to driving.

Researchers are striving to make telematics features such as navigation systems, e-mail, paging, and voice mail-as easy and non-distracting as possible. "There are all sorts of distractions to drivers, but the ones engineers can work to control are those of telematics," said UMTRI senior research scientist Paul Green.

In-vehicle telematics have their purpose, but doing certain things at certain times that distract from driving is harmful. "Someone has to say, here are the functions and here are the limitations, and the car companies have to agree to do it," said UMTRI director Barry Kantowitz.

Keeping Drivers' Eyes on the Road is included in the latest edition of the UMTRI Research Review. For more information, call UMTRI, (734) 763-0235.

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