Road traffic safety is a significant issue for society. In the European Union there are approximately 45 000 traffic fatalities annually. The majority of these accidents are caused by human error, and the use of drugs (both prescribed and illegal compound s) is a significant contributor in this respect. Driver impairment caused by drugs may constitute a serious risk not only for the driver, but also for any other road user and bystander.The evaluation of risk increase with respect to drug influence in ro ad traffic accidents calls for detailed and validated information regarding driver performance. Such information is difficult to obtain by direct means, and relies to some extent on the use of laboratory models. These models' predictive ability may be que stionable, and calls for validation procedures. In order to generate information about how prescribed drugs affect driving ability for legal and medical authorities, road authorities, and the general public, we propose to develop a valid test battery to p redict driving performance under the influence of drugs.The test battery will be developed by means of an instrumented vehicle on a test track to validate the SINTEF/NTNU driving simulator. The latter exhibit a realistic road environment where traffic s ituations, including emergencies, can be presented. Driver drowsiness, swivelling, speed fluctuations, braking, acceleration, steering precision, reaction time etc. can be measured both in the driving simulator and the instrumented vehicle.Within the VA LIDAD pilot study we will seek approval for all the planned studies within the main project. In addition a test battery will be developed and a study of driver performance under the influence of ethanol at different levels will be conducted.
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