Report examines contributing factors in fatal vehicle crashes

Posted on October 12, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), a branch of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Research and Innovative Technology Administration, has released a report examining the factors that contribute to fatal crashes involving a motor vehicle.

The report examined transportation-related factors, including traffic controls, speed and route type, road characteristics, weather impacts and road classification; and human-related factors, such as the number of people involved, drunken driving and light conditions.

The report is based on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) database for 2004-2008.

According to BTS, analysis of the FARS database shows:

• Single-vehicle crash fatalities are the most prevalent.

• The main factors in single-vehicle fatal crashes involve the functionality of traffic controls and the first harmful event in a crash (e.g., rollover, traffic barrier or ditch).

• With regard to two-vehicle fatal crashes, main factors are traffic controls and the characteristics of the roadway (e.g., roadway alignment or surface type).

• In multi-vehicle (three or more) fatal crashes, road characteristics, vehicle speed and road type (e.g., interstate or country road) are the main factors involved.

To read the full report, click here.

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