Technology and highway safety boon or bane for states

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               Technology and highway safety:
               boon or bane for states?   Governors Highway Safety Association
               Kansas City, MO ● September 28, 2010
               Adrian Lund, Ph.D.
               President IIHS & HLDI
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety,
founded in 1959, is an independent, nonprofit, scientific, and educational
organization dedicated to reducing the losses — deaths, injuries, and
property damage — from crashes on the nation's highways.

The Highway Loss Data Institute,
founded in 1972, shares and supports this mission through scientific
studies of insurance data representing the human and economic losses
resulting from the ownership and operation of different types of vehicles
and by publishing insurance loss results by vehicle make and model.

Both organizations are wholly supported by auto insurers.

Where are we?
Location of IIHS/HLDI and Vehicle Research Center

       North               Washington, DC

                 America                         Arlington



An explosion of in-vehicle infotainment devices

June 19, 2010

USA Today, July 15, 2005

Cellphones and crash risk
The best studies of crash risk verify crash-involved driver phone use
from billing records. Because billing records are unavailable in the
U.S., such studies have been done in other countries.

         • Canadian study found 4-fold increase in risk of
           property-damage crashes with cellphone use
         • IIHS study in Western Australia found 4-fold
           increase in risk of injury crashes
         • Both studies found similar risks for hand-held
           and hands-free phones

Motor vehicle crash deaths per billion vehicle
miles traveled

                                    11.3 per billion

 Collision claim frequencies
Claims per 100 insured vehicle years
 By calendar year, based on 4 most recent model years

Conundrum: Where are the crashes?

• Historical crash data do not show an increase commensurate
  with the dramatic increase in in-vehicle technology and the
  associated distraction potential of that technology
• Could reflect the counter effects of other improvements in
  highway safety
 – Perhaps recent gains in safety would have been even greater absent
   increase in driver use of electronic gadgetry
• To examine this possibility, the Highway Loss Data Institute – a
  part of the IIHS – has looked at the effects of hand-held
  cellphone bans on insurance collision claims in three states –
  New York, Connecticut and California – and Washington, DC

Actual hand-held phone use vs. use that would
be expected without bans
Percent phone use, April 2009

How often do drivers use hand-held
vs. hands-free cellphones?
By presence of all-driver ban on hand-held phones

                                  states with          states without
                                 all-driver ban        all-driver ban

        only talk hands-free          22                         13

     sometimes talk hands-free        15                         17

        only talk hand-held           19                         40

      never talk while driving        44                         30

Crashes and hand-held cellphone ban in Connecticut
Collision claim frequencies by month for vehicles up to 3 years old in
Connecticut and control states (New York and Massachusetts)

                                                        ban enacted October 2005

                          months before and after ban

Cellphones and crash risk
Current state of knowledge

• Driver cellphone use is a potent crash risk, hand-held or hands-free
• Driver cellphone use has increased in past decade
 – IIHS estimates 7 percent of driving time in 2009 involved cellphones
• Population crash risk seems unrelated to cellphone use
 – National rates haven’t risen with cellphone use
 – States with hand-held bans haven’t reduced their crash risk
    Hand-held bans have reduced driver cellphone use and caused others to switch
    to hands-free

• Question: Is it possible that cellphone use is no more distracting than
  the behavior drivers forego to talk on their phones?

Texting bans

Texting is different than cellphones

• Texting is almost certainly more distracting than cellphone
• However, texting bans are likely to be more difficult to enforce
 – A hand-held ban is essentially a ban against holding a device to your
   ear and that is easy to see
 – Texting can occur well below the belt line of the vehicle and be
   difficult to see
• To examine effect of texting bans, HLDI repeated the analytic
  procedure from cellphone study, except
 – Vehicles up to 9 years old were included
 – Analytical refinements were included that had been suggested by
   reviewers at Chance, an American Statistical Association journal that
   will publish the cellphone study
Crashes and the texting ban in California
Collision claim frequencies by month for vehicles up to 9 years old
in California and control states (Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon)

                             texting law effective January 1, 2009

                        months before and after texting law

Estimated effect of texting bans in 4 states
Collision claim frequencies for vehicles up to 9 years old

                              estimated effect
                              vs. control states

            California              +8%                 0.0001

            Louisiana               +7%                 0.0001

            Minnesota               +9%                 0.0001

           Washington               +1%                 0.4425

Estimated effect of texting bans in 4 states
for rated drivers less than 25 years old
Collision claim frequencies for vehicles up to 9 years old

                              estimated effect
                              vs. control states

            California             +11%                 0.0001

            Louisiana               +8%                 0.0027

            Minnesota               +7%                 0.0408

           Washington               +5%                 0.1373

Bans have had small effects on texting by drivers
Percent of drivers who say they text and drive in states with and
without bans, 2009

                            states with           states
                           all-driver ban      without ban

            18-24               45                  48

            25-29               41                  54

            30-59               12                  12

         60 and older            0                   1

           all ages             11                  14

Another way to think about cellphones and
texting by drivers
Is it possible cellphones are no more distracting than other behavior?

• 1979 – Indiana “Tri-Level Study” estimated “driver error” to be
  proximate cause of 9 out of 10 crashes
• Personal reports from drivers reveal a variety of distracting events
  preceding crashes
 – Changing audio tapes/CDs
 – Eating/drinking
 – Children, bugs, animals in vehicle
 – Reading, shaving, and applying makeup

• Cellphones and texting join a long list of distractions, all of which can and do
  result in crashes
• Technology is promising to address some of these crashes

Technological innovation
and crash prevention

New collision avoidance
technologies are intended to
protect motorists from all kinds
of distraction

Mercedes Distronic system
Advanced cruise with forward collision warning

Mercedes vehicles, by coverage type
With Distronic vs. without

                                       claim                      claim                     overall
                                    frequency                    severity                   losses

         collision           -9%       -5%      -1%    $1,238     $2,030    $2,822   $60      $98     $137

property damage liability    -14%      -8%      -2%    -$265       $117     $498     -$10     -$4     $3

personal injury protection   -15%      -1%      14%    -$1,479    -$221     $1,036   -$16     -$4     $8

   medical payments          -42%     -27%      -13%   -$1,358    -$148     $1,062   -$17    -$10     -$3

   bodily injury liability   -16%      -2%      13%    -$8,205   -$2,144    $3,918   -$72    -$23     $26

Cost of Mercedes Distronic radar units

                       Distronic:   $2,177

Collision cumulative claim size distribution for cars
Model years 2006-08 in calendar years 2005-09

        50th percentile

Preliminary collision claim frequencies for 2010 Volvo
XC60 with City Safety vs. other 2009-10 vehicles


Doesn’t anything work?

Haddon matrix
Recognizing opportunities to make a difference

                                              crash phase

changes in…   before                          during                    after

              •graduated licensing            •restraint use            •alcohol
              •impaired driving laws          •helmets
  people      •distracted driving             •seat position
              •red light cameras              •speed cameras
              •speed cameras

              •collision warning              •airbags                  •automatic collision notification
              •electronic stability control   •small overlap crashes    •fuel system integrity
              •motorcycle ABS                 •truck underride guards

              •roundabouts                    •roundabouts              •emergency medical
environment   •trouble spot treatment         •breakaway poles

Highway safety laws

                   texting       strong        law allows    statewide     primary belt
                bans enacted      GDL            sobriety     red light     law for all
                  in 2010      restrictions   checkpoints   camera law      occupants











Don’t forget low-tech solutions!

Roundabouts are safer and more efficient

If 10 percent of signalized intersections in
the United States were converted to roundabouts

 • Approximately 70,000 crashes prevented annually including:
  – 450 fatal crashes
  – 45,000 injury crashes
 • Vehicle delays reduced by about 800 million hours
 • Fuel consumption reduced by more than 500 million gallons

Leesburg Pike at George Marshall Drive

  Problem: High number of
 rear-end crashes because
              of right turns


          Solution: Installed
pavement markings to warn
drivers of potential conflicts
  with right-turning vehicles

Crashworthiness challenges
Low-speed vehicles and other
cars of the future

Low-speed vehicles

Low-speed vehicles
Type defined by NHTSA in 1998

 “to make short trips for shopping, social, and recreational
 purposes primarily within retirement or other planned
 communities with golf courses”
• 4 wheels and top speed of at least 20 mph but not more
  than 25 mph
• Exempt from most federal motor vehicle safety standards
• Not required to meet any criteria for vehicle crashworthiness
• Must be equipped with headlights, taillights, stoplights,
  reflectors, mirrors, parking brake, windshield, and safety belts

Low-speed vehicle crashes

      posted speed limit 45 mph        posted speed limit 55 mph
    3 occupants: 2 killed, 1 injured     single occupant killed

Roads where low-speed vehicles are permitted
September 2010

      WA                  MT             ND                                                                 NH
                                         SD                       WI
                ID             WY                                                                      NY
                                                         IA                                                                MA
                                                                   IL    IN        OH
                                                                                                                 NJ        RI
                     UT             CO                                                                                 CT
                                              KS             MO                         WV                        DE
                                                                              KY              VA
      CA                                                                                                         MD
                                                   OK                   TN                   NC              DC
                     AZ         NM                           AR
                                                                  MS    AL
                                                                                                        25 mph or less
                                                                                                        30 mph or less

                     AK                                                                 FL              35 mph or less
                                                                                                        45 mph or less
                                                                                                        doesn’t impede traffic
                                                                                                        local option
                                                                         HI                             no state law

GEM vs. Smart Fortwo in side crash

Forces on test dummy
31 mph side impact by Smart Fortwo


             GEM                         Smart Fortwo


Roads where minitrucks are permitted, April 2010

     WA                  MT             ND                                                                 NH
                                        SD                       WI
               ID             WY                                                                      NY
                                                        IA                                                                MA
                                                                  IL    IN        OH
                                                                                                                NJ        RI
                    UT             CO                                                                                 CT
                                             KS             MO                         WV                        DE
                                                                             KY              VA
     CA                                                                                                         MD
                                                  OK                   TN                   NC              DC
                    AZ         NM                           AR
                                                                 MS    AL

                                                                                                       allowed on specific roads
                    AK                                                                 FL              no law


25 mph minitruck into 35 mph Ford Ranger

Forces on test dummy
25 mph minitruck into 35 mph Ford Ranger


            minitruck                      2010 Ford Ranger

At a meeting in Canberra, Australia 38 years ago
(1972), Haddon spoke of the beginning of a transition
in public health and highway safety

…away from a pre-scientific period. That is, from a period in
which folk-culture has dominated – in which virtually everyone,
both in and out of public life, has been a self-certified expert
with his own pet, dogmatically advanced panacea – in which
the notion has been virtually absent that public and private
conclusion, pronouncements and measures to reduce the
losses should be based on well-done, carefully scientific
determinations of relevance and efficacy rather than on the
unsubstantial assertions of some individual or group.
             - William Haddon Jr., MD
               1st Head of NHTSA,
               President of IIHS 1969-1985

               Dedicated to reducing deaths, injuries,   and property damage on the highway

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