Human Errors in Traffic Accidents: Differences Between Car Drivers and Motorcyclists’ Experience

Guritnaningsih P. Santoso, Dewi Maulina


Traffic accidents have become one of the main causes of death in Indonesia. The biggest contributor to traffic accidents are motorcyclists. According to police records, human error plays a major role in the occurrence of accidents. The aim of this study is to analyze the potential types of human error that contribute to traffic accidents, as well as the psychological factors that underlie traffic accidents experienced by car drivers and motorcyclists. Data was collected by interviewing five car drivers and five motorcyclists. Results show that the car drivers tend to perform a type of human error which is classified as lapses, while the motorcyclists tend to do an error of slips. For psychological factors that underlie traffic accident, results show that both car drivers and motorcyclists made recognition errors, i.e. did not estimate distance, time, and speed. They also made decision errors, i.e. did not avoid the situation immediately, and performance errors, i.e. a motorcyclist stepped on the gas pedal by mistake. Other errors done by the car drivers were being sleepy and drunk, whereas other errors done by motorcyclists were not having a riding license and feeling tired. The implication of this study is to make the drivers/riders aware of the importance of cognitive aspects in driving.


car driver; human error; psychological factors; motorcyclist; traffic accident

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