THE DETECTION OF ACCIDENT - PRONE DRIVERS

A STUDY WAS MADE OF THE ACCIDENT HISTORIES OF 29,531 CONNECTICUT DRIVERS, SELECTED AT RANDOM, EACH OF WHOM WAS LICENSED IN THAT STATE FOR A PERIOD OF SIX YEARS. IT WAS FOUND THAT REPORTED ACCIDENTS WERE NOT DISTRIBUTED AMONG THESE DRIVERS ACCORDING TO THE LAWS OF CHANCE, AND THE DISCREPANCY BETWEEN FACT AND CHANCE-EXPECTATION CANNOT BE ATTRIBUTED TO CHANCE. THE DRIVERS HAS AN AVERAGE OF 1 ACCIDENT AMONG 25 DRIVERS IN ONE YEAR, WHICH DOES NOT MEAN THE SAME AS ONE ACCIDENT PER OPERATOR IN 25 YEARS. THE CONTRIBUTION OF ACCIDENT-REPEATERS TO THE TOTAL NUMBER OF ACCIDENTS WAS QUITE LARGE, AND FAR IN EXCESS OF WHAT THE LAWS OF CHANCE PERMIT. IN FACT, A GROUP OF LESS THAN 4 PER CENT OF THE OPERATORS HAD 40 PER CENT OF THE FATAL ACCIDENTS, 36 PER CENT OF THE NON-FATAL PERSONAL-INJURY ACCIDENTS, AND 38 PER CENT OF THE ACCIDENTS WHICH INVOLVED NO PERSONAL INJURIES. BY DIVIDING THE ACCIDENT EXPERIENCE INTO TWO PERIODS, IT WAS FOUND THAT OPERATORS WHO WERE ACCIDENT-FREE DURING EITHER PERIOD HAD THE LOWEST RATE DURING THE OTHER; THOSE WHO HAD ONE ACCIDENT DURING ONE PERIOD HAD TWICE AS MANY ACCIDENTS DURING THE OTHER PERIOD AS THOSE WHO WENT ACCIDENT-FREE DURING THE FIRST. THOSE WHO HAD FOUR ACCIDENTS EACH DURING ONE PERIOD HAD BETWEEN 7 AND 9 TIMES AS MANY ACCIDENTS DURING THE OTHER PERIOD AS THOSE WHO WENT ACCIDENT-FREE DURING THE FIRST PERIOD. DRIVERS YOUNGER THAN 21 YEARS HAD A DISPROPORTIONATE SHARE OF ALL CLASSES OF ACCIDENTS. THEIR FATAL-ACCIDENT RATE WAS NEARLY TWICE THE AVERAGE, AND THEIR NON-FATAL RATE ABOUT 1 1/2 TIMES THE AVERAGE. A CENSUS OF THE WHOLE DRIVER-POPULATION OF THE STATE SHOWED, WITH RESPECT TO FATAL ACCIDENTS, THE SAME DISPROPORTIONS THROUGHOUT EACH OF FIVE YEARS; THE CRITICAL AGE WAS ABOUT 21. IF THESE RELATIONS ARE NATION- WIDE WE COULD HAVE SAVED ABOUT 3,100 LIVES IN 1937 BY BRINGING THE FATAL-ACCIDENT RATE OF PERSONS UNDER 21 TO THE AVERAGE RATE OF THEIR ELDERS. ABOUT 7,800 LIVES COULD HAVE BEEN SAVED BY BRINGING DOWN THE RATE OF DRIVERS UNDER 25 TO THE AVERAGE RATE OF THOSE OVER 25. THUS TWO CLASSES OF DRIVERS HAVE BEEN FOUND WHO ARE NOW ACCIDENT PRONE: THOSE WHO ARE NOW YOUNG, AND THOSE WHO HAVE HAD A HIGH RATE IN THE PAST. /AUTHOR/

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Vol 17, ParT I, PP 444-454, 5 FIG, 2 TAB
  • Authors:
    • Johnson, H M
    • Lauer, A R
    • Johnston, C M
  • Publication Date: 1938

Media Info

  • Monograph Title: Proceedings of the Seventeenth Annual Meeting of the Highway Research Board Held at Washington, D.C. November 30, December 1, 2, 3, 1937. Part I
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00223310
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Aug 23 1971 12:00AM