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National Crash Study Examines Car Accidents in Florida

The Naturalistic Driving Study, the world’s largest field study of driving behavior, is looking for participants in Florida. This study looks to record driver’s actions and reactions behind the wheel when interacting with varying traffic conditions and in the event of a car accident in Fort Myers or elsewhere. The study is looking for 3,100 drivers to volunteer in Buffalo, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Durham, central Pennsylvania and Bloomington. Researchers will then use this recorded data to aid the development of safety improvements in road design, cars, and driver training programs, according to Forbes.
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“Collision prevention is the central goal of the study” said Ken Campbell, chief program officer overseeing safety for the Strategic Highway Research Program, which is part of the non-profit Transportation Research Board. “And the driver is the key to prevent collision.”

Our Fort Myers car accident lawyers understand the benefits of a study like this one. Previous studies only focused on countermeasures that protect vehicle occupants after a collision, like seat belts, airbags and crash-worthy vehicles. This is a new study that focuses on driver behavior, which is the primary cause of most accidents. The researcher’s goal is to develop more efficient crash avoidance systems.

In this study, sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration, 3,100 drivers will be monitored with a video recording system that includes four video cameras. These four cameras will tape forward and rear views and the driver’s face and hands. Monitoring equipment, including GPS, wireless radar and sensors, will also record information about environmental variables like traffic, lighting and weather conditions.

All of this information will be held in a storage box in the vehicle that is about the size of a text book. Researchers will retrieve this information from the vehicle every four to six months.

“You can’t just look at collisions or near collisions to know what risk factors are. It’s that comparison with what the driver is doing when there is not a safety-related event that tells you what the risk factors are,” says Dr. Campbell.

The study is mainly looking for participants under the age of 25 and over the age of 65. Both of these groups represent a small percentage of drivers who have high collision rates. Accidents at intersections and crashes that happen when the driver runs off the road will be the initial focus areas of this study. Each participant will receive $500 for each year they participate. To participate, you must have a valid driver’s license, proof of insurance and an approved vehicle. Your participating vehicle is subject to a brief inspection. More than half of all vehicle makes on Florida roadways are eligible for the study. It generally takes less than four hours to install the study equipment into the vehicle.

“This study is long overdue and has the potential for providing the most comprehensive look at why highway crashes occur,” said Peter Kissinger, president and chief executive of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a nonprofit research and educational organization that provided technical advice for the study. “It is unprecedented in its scope and approach. It will be a wonderful supplement to other ongoing and planned traffic safety research efforts. My only disappointment is that the transportation research community didn’t initiate the study several years ago.”

Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured are an experienced team of attorneys who represent personal injury victims and their families in Fort Myers and all of South Florida. For a free and confidential appointment call 1-800-DIAL-BLS (283-2900) today.

More Blog Entries:

New Vehicle Technology — Contributing to Car Accidents in Fort Myers and Elsewhere?, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, Jule 24 2011

Still Allowing Distracted Driving Accidents in Florida – One of the Last States to Regulate Cell Phone Use by Drivers, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, July 15, 2011

Sunshine State Ranks in Bottom for National Drivers Test Scores, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, June 18, 2011