Abundant evidence is currently available implicating alcohol in approximately half of the fatal highway crashes in the United States. Indeed, it is commonly assumed that alcohol causes crashes. It is also commonly assumed that crashes are caused by inattention, that is, "by not paying attention." Although both assumptions represent gross oversimplifications, they also contain a substantial kernel of truth. The primary purpose of the present paper is to examine some of the experimental evidence for these popular assumptions and to examine the relation between them as a contributing--indeed, as a crucial--factor in highway crashes. As such, this paper represents the latest step in the development of a behavioral model--based upon the psychological concept of attention--to account for the contribution of alcohol to highway crashes. The practical utility of this model stems from the assumption that effective countermeasures can be developed most efficiently through clear understanding of the specific components of the problem and their interrelations. The remainder of the paper is organized in terms of the following topics: accidents and alcohol; attention and alcohol; and accidents, attention, and alcohol. /Author/

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Project sponsors are the National Highway Traffic Safety Admin. and National Inst. on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Presented at the 1st International Conference on Driver Behaviour, Zurich, Switzerland, 73.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Vermont, Burlington

    169 Home Avenue
    Burlington, VT  United States  05401
  • Authors:
    • Perrine, M W
  • Publication Date: 1973

Media Info

  • Pagination: 11 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00142006
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Conf Paper
  • Contract Numbers: DOT-FH-11-6609, DOT-FH-11-6899, DOT-FH-11-7469
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 31 1977 12:00AM