Posted On: July 24, 2011 by Steven D. Eversole

Mark Ingram and Girlfriend Wreck with 18-Wheeler in Alabama Car Accident - Driver Reaction Wanted

Former Alabama star running back and Heisman trophy winner, Mark Ingram, was involved in an early morning Alabama car accident with an 18-wheeler in Huntsville last week, according to Alabama Live. It happened as he was traveling southbound on Leeman Ferry Road with his girlfriend; they collided with the big rig. Both airbags deployed during the accident.

Our Alabama car accident attorneys are glad to report that neither the football star nor his girlfriend were injured in the accident. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. In an attempt to reduce the risks of these types of accidents, a new crash study is aiming at getting into the minds of drivers. The Naturalistic Driving Study will be installing recording devices into 3,100 vehicles in an attempt to gain data regarding driver's reactions to all sorts of driving reactions and what goes on behind the wheel during crash and near-crash situations.

What's most beneficial about this study is that researchers will then use this data to help develop countermeasures intended to save lives.

“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.”

This is the world’s largest field study of driving behavior that is recorded by monitoring equipment. The equipment will document how each drivers interact with a number of traffic conditions and roadway designs. This equipment will be installed for two years into participant's vehicles throughout Buffalo, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Durham, central Pennsylvania and Bloomington. Cameras will tape forward and rear views and the driver’s face and hands. They will record reactions pertaining to speed, lighting, weather conditions and traffic flow. The data will be stored in the vehicle's glove box and will be gathered by researchers every four to six months.

This study is so different because instead of focusing on countermeasures that protect vehicle occupants during an accident, this study aims to prevent collisions by analyzing driver behaviors.

“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 Campbell.

Motor-vehicle accidents that occur at intersections and accidents where the driver runs off the road will be main focus areas of the study.

“We are particularly interested in people under 25 and over 65” Dr. Campbell said. Both groups represent a small percentage of all drivers and have high collision rates.

Participating drivers will be paid $500 for each year they participate in the study. Participants are required to have a valid driver’s license, proof of insurance and an approved vehicle. The monitoring equipment generally takes less than four hours to install.

“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.”

Additional Resources:

Heisman trophy winner Mark Ingram uninjured in Huntsville wreck with 18-wheeler, by Shelly Haskins, Alabama Live

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