• It is known that driver inattention is a major cause of traffic accidents, injuries and deaths.
  • Out of all safety-critical events in traffic it has been estimated that over 30% are caused by driver inattention.
  • Almost 80 percent of all crashes and 65 percent of all near-crashes involved visual inattention in a 100-car naturalistic field study on the topic.
  • As a cause of visual inattention by secondary activities in these safety-critical events the use of a mobile device was by far the leading cause by at least 30%.
  • Drivers engaging in visually complex tasks have a three-times higher near-crash/crash risk than drivers who pay attention to the road ahead.
  • Field studies have shown that drivers are trying to keep diverging glance durations within safe limits but that often their allocation of visual attention is inefficient and unsafe – drivers take a look at a wrong place at a wrong time and/or look at a wrong place for too long given the visual demands of the traffic situation.
  • Lead car scenarios with short following headways, in particular, are high-risk situations when combined with distracted driving.
  • The estimated costs of distracted driving in USA alone are over 24 billion USD per year.


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Dingus, T. A., Klauer, S.G., Neale, V. L., Petersen, A., Lee, S. E., Sudweeks, J., et al. (2006). The 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study: Phase II – Results of the 100-Car Field Experiment. DOT HS 810 593. USA: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Klauer, S.G., Dingus, T. A., Neale, V. L., Sudweeks, J.D., and Ramsey, D.J. (2006). The Impact of Driver Inattention On Near-Crash/Crash Risk: An Analysis Using the 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study Data. DOT HS 810 594. USA: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association (2013). ”Crash Costs and Statistics”.