Distraction in the road traffic

Distraction is a growing hazard in the road traffic which is often underestimated.

An active participation in the road traffic – as car driver, cyclist or pedestrian – requires at any time the full concentration to the traffic events. A short inattention can under certain circumstances not only lead to dangerous situations in the road traffic or risky driving manoeuvres but also to grave accidents.

Every second car driver admits in a representative survey of the German Traffic Safety Council (DVR) that he once has been in a precarious situation due to distraction. In Switzerland “inattention and distraction” are listed as an own accident category and caused in 2013 about 30% of all accidents where persons have been injured or were killed. The Austrian Traffic Club (VCÖ) assumes the same figures.

Investigations in different countries lead to the conclusion that distraction in the road traffic is an accident risk which is currently underestimated in general.

According to an inquiry of the Alliance Insurance from 2012 each 10th traffic accident is caused by distracted car drivers. Not only activities like calling while driving of operating the navigation system are distracting from the concentration to the traffic events. But also emotions like joy or anger caused by music or conversations claim drivers and pedestrians and led the traffic events become ancillary.

How do perception and attention work in the road traffic? How does the distraction influence the road safety? How can technical systems relieve the driver from his tasks?

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