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Diverted attention includes a range of activities where drivers’ attention is directed away from safe driving, towards competing events, objects or people, inside or outside the vehicle. ‘Attention diverted by’ is largely synonymous with distraction. Regan, Lee and Young (2008) have defined distraction as “the diversion of attention away from activities critical for safe driving, towards a competing activity.” In the Crash Analysis System this covers activities such as:
It is difficult to identify whether a driver’s attention has been diverted in an incident or crash. International research suggests that the contribution of diverted attention in crashes may be under-represented in police-reported crash systems (Gordon, 2009). This crash factsheet provides a summary of the information contained within the New Zealand police-reported crash system.
‘Diverted attention’ refers to a series of codes within the Crash Analysis System (CAS) grouped under the heading ‘Attention diverted by’. Additional definitions including those for casualties, fatal, serious and minor injuries are in the Glossary.