The Connecticut Department of Transportation has an accident records system that has been computerized since 1960, and one item in the department's coding manual provides insight into "splash or spray" accidents (Vision Obscured by Rain, Fog, Snow, or Ice). Accident records in this category were reviewed for the 5-year period from 1 July 1975 through 30 June 1970. Interviews were conducted with administrators responsible for the accident records system to determine the extent of accidents caused by splash or spray. Less than 0.3% of about 130,000 accidents on the computer file were coded according to the obscured vision item. It was determined that 20 of these 311 accidents involved splash or spray, representing one accident in 6500. Of the 20 accidents, 17 occurred on divided highways, 13 involved water, and 7 involved wet snow or slush. In 19 accidents, the driver lost sense of orientation and control of the vehicle. In the 20th accident, the operator had braked, pulled over to the side of the road, parked, and was struck by the following vehicle. Vision obstruction was caused by 13 vehicles moving in the same direction, 3 vehicles going in the opposite direction, and 4 vehicles receiving self-inflicted splash. Loss from accidents included 5 single-injury accidents, 1 accident in which 8 people were injured, and 14 property damage accidents. A review of 275 fatal accidents on the Connecticut highway system during 1970 revealed one case in which splash or spray contributed to accident occurrence. The five most common factors affecting accident occurrence during the five-year period were following too close, failing to grant right-of-way. Three Hartford-based insurance companies contacted indicated that their records systems do not identify the splash or spray accident type and that accidents caused by splash or spray are rare. A brief review of prior research on splash/spray accidents is presented.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Presented at Region I Meeting of the American Association of State Highway Officials' Operating Subcommittee on Roadway Design, Connecticut, 15-16 July 1971.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Connecticut Department of Transportation

    Office of Traffic, 24 Wolcott Hill Road, P.O. Drawer A
    Wethersfield, CT  United States  06109
  • Authors:
    • Casella, C W
    • Vivari, J A
  • Publication Date: 1971

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: 10 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00394107
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-026 997U
  • Created Date: May 31 1985 12:00AM