An Investigation of Motorist Behavior in Taiwan
Authors: Cheng-Yong Huang
Abstract: Taiwan is a group of islands located in East Asia on the northwest side of the Pacific Ocean. The area of these islands is 36,000 km2 and their total population is 23.37 million. A total of 7.1 million cars and 15 million motorcycles are registered. The combined number of motor vehicles is in line with the total population. On average, each person has at least one land vehicle. The number of motorcycles is twice that of cars. The Taiwanese news media have long reported that car drivers often strike motorcyclists passing from behind because they open their car doors improperly. This leads to injury or even death among motorcyclists. Human factors are the cause of this issue. In this study, we examined civil judgments on improper car door opening in district courts in 2010 and 2011. After collecting 43 cases of accidents caused by improper car door opening, we found that accidents occurred in counties and cities in western Taiwan with dense populations and poor public transportation, such as Taichung, Taoyuan, and Kaohsiung. Half of all motorcyclists involved in these accidents were severely injured, disabled, put into comas, or died. The drivers who caused these accidents each paid an average of approximately 100,000 zloty in reparations. Finally, we made ergonomic design suggestions for three types of accidents. For example, the left front doors of cars should be required to have two-stage opening methods. Left rear doors should be openable only from the outside. Roads in metropolitan areas should have temporary parking spaces for passengers to exit vehicles from the right side. In the future, we hope that these suggestions can be implemented in the ergonomic design of cars in Taiwan to avoid injury to motorcyclists.
Keywords: Car Door Opening, Human factors, Human error, Man-machine-environment system
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