SWOV Catalogus


Schatting aantal verkeersdoden door afleiding.
C 51096 [electronic version only]
Hagenzieker, M.P. & Stelling, A.
Leidschendam, Stichting Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Verkeersveiligheid SWOV, 2013, 16 p., 17 ref.; R-2013-13

Samenvatting Estimated number of road fatalities due to distraction. The Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment in the Netherlands asked SWOV to make an estimate of the number of road fatalities due to distraction in traffic. The request also entailed specific attention for the effects of texting and the use of social media. The only data that is available on the safety effects of distraction, is the percentages of crashes in which distraction played a role. The majority of these percentages originate from international studies that have many methodological limitations. Data is also lacking on the prevalence of distraction, which indicates how often and how long different kinds of distraction in traffic occur. Therefore, it is difficult to estimate the number of fatalities due to distraction in the Netherlands. It is clear, however, that distraction leads to diminished performance of the traffic task and plays an important role in the occurrence of crashes. Based on the available research, only an indicative range can be given of the fatalities in crashes in the Netherlands in which distraction played a role. This results in an estimate of an annual number of at least several dozens of fatalities, with an upper limit of just over one hundred. It is not possible to give an indication of how many of these fatalities are caused by texting or the use of other smartphone functions. It is clear, however, that these specific activities are among the most dangerous kinds of distraction. As the use of smartphones in traffic is likely to increase further, an increase of the road safety problem due to distraction is also to be expected.
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