Causative Factors of Crashes between a Motor Vehicle and the Amish and Old Order Mennonite Horse and Buggy

M.A. thesis in Urban and Regional Planning. Richmond, VA: Virginia Commonwealth University.

Anderson, Cory. 2008.

Research Points
  •  Narratively reconstructs 76 Pennsylvania motorist/buggy crashes from police and news reports

  • Four major crash types: motorist rear-ends buggy, motorist fails to pass buggy, buggy attempts to cross/enter main road, and buggy driver attempts left turn off main road.

  •  Major contributing factors include motorist carelessness (intoxication, unsafe passing), miscommunication (buggy turn signals), motorist miscalculating buggy speed (attempted pass but hits back-left buggy corner), and view limitations (obstruction, sun’s glare, distractions).

  • Challenges assumption that conspicuity (motorist just didn’t “see” buggy)—often the focus of safety improvements such as rear buggy markings—is a foremost factor in crashes

  •  Provides data-driven examination of crash scenarios focusing on interactions of factors rather than single attributions, suggesting safety improvements targeting crash types rather than general “visibility”

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