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Driver distraction related crashes in New Zealand.
The Ministry of Transport in New Zealand is currently undertaking a project on driver distraction. One of the aims of the project is to provide an overview of the current New Zealand situation and a more detailed crash analysis of internal and external distractions involved in crashes. This paper presents the results of an examination of crashes that include the driver distraction contributory cause codes contained within the police-reported New Zealand Crash Analysis System (CAS). Two approaches are being used to examine the data. The first summarised the crash information from 2002-2003 based on the driver distraction cause codes used in the system and categorised them into inside/outside the vehicle distraction types allowed by the coding detail. The second approach reviewed the individual traffic crash reports for distraction related crashes in 2002-2003. This provides a comparison with the cause codes from the first approach and allows a more detailed breakdown of driver distraction in terms of the type of behaviour and the objects or action/s involved. A summary of the current internal and external driver distraction situation for New Zealand, including a detailed behaviour/item breakdown, will be provided. Differences between the two approaches will be commented on and implications for New Zealand and future directions will be discussed.