Contributing Factors to Run-off-road Crashes and Near-crashes
McLaughlin, Shane B.
Hankey, Jonathan M.
Dingus, Thomas A.
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The purpose of this investigation is to identify factors associated with run-off-road (ROR) crashes. Events from the 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study that constituted ROR crash or near-crash events were investigated to identify conditions in which the events occurred and contributing factors. ROR events occur more frequently per mile in low-visibility (including darkness) and low-friction conditions than in clear and dry conditions. Approximately half of the events (56%) occurred on straight roadways, with the remainder occurring in curves (30%) and intersection turns (14%). The most frequently identified contributing factor among the ROR events was distraction. Changes in roadway boundaries (e.g., discontinuities) also appear to be a common factor. Short following distances appear to be more commonly a factor than lead-vehicle braking. Other factors include fatigue/impairment, low friction, vehicle encroaching on the subject vehicle, low-speed maneuvering errors, and late route selection.