Global Inattention Taxonomy Definition

Project manager
Johan Engström
2011-06-01 - 2012-12-31

A large body of research, including in-depth accident analysis as well as naturalistic driving studies, has identified driver inattention as one of the leading causes of road crashes. Driver inattention relates to a wide range of specific factors such as distraction, daydreaming, "looked-but-failed-to-see", fatigue/drowsiness, alcohol and drug impairment. A key problem is that a commonly agreed taxonomy of such factors, as well as precise definitions of the factors themselves, is currently lacking. This makes it difficult to compare and aggregate results from different studies and obtain reliable estimates of the relative importance of different inattention-related factors in crash causation. The targeted taxonomy should be applicable to traditional in-depth crash data as well as naturalistic driving data. However, it should be noted that naturalistic data will always be far more detailed than crash data. Thus, one possibility is to create a hierarchical taxonomy so that the top levels apply to both crash data and naturalistic data, and the lower levels allow for a more precise classification based on the more detailed description available from naturalistic driving.

Short facts

Project title: Global Inattention Taxonomy Definition
Project type:
Research area:
Safety performance evaluation
Chalmers, VTI, AB Volvo, TØI
Project No:

Project publications

This documents reports on the results of the Inattention Taxonomy project, which was carried out by the Driver Distraction & Human Machine Interaction (DD & HMI) Working Group, under the framework of the United States and
Johan Engström, Christopher A. Monk, Richard J. Hanowski, William J. Horrey, John D. Lee, Daniel V. McGehee, Michael Regan, Alan Stevens, Eric Traube, Marko Tuukkanen, Trent Victor, C. Y. David Yang
Year of publication
Global Inattention Taxonomy Definition (C20)

Safer – Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre

SAFER is the open research arena where researchers and expertise work together to create safe mobility. Our traffic safety approach covers people, vehicles and the infrastructure – and together we contribute to safer road transports and smarter, more sustainable cities.

Contact information


Lindholmspiren 3A
SE-417 56 Göteborg

 +46 31-772 21 06
 safer [at]