Relative vehicle safety, road environment and crash type

The Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSRs) measure relative vehicle safety performance averaged over a standard set of crash circumstances and occupant characteristics. As such they reflect the average serious injury risk to which vehicle occupants are exposed across the full range of crash circumstances and occupant characteristics. An important question is whether relative vehicle safety, as measured by crashworthiness, can identify combinations of road types and crash types where the ability of the vehicle to protect its occupants is inadequate. In such circumstances focus on improving vehicle safety will not yield road safety benefits indicating the need to focus on other areas of the road system, such as infrastructure, to reduce road trauma. Analysis was conducted of data on injuries sustained by drivers of almost one million crashed vehicles from New Zealand and the Australian States of Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales. To obtain separate vehicle market group estimates of crashworthiness (risk of fatal and serious injury per tow-away crash of the particular type studied) for each of the crash types and crash circumstances of interest, logistic regression models were constructed using relevant data for the crash type or road classification studied. Analysis found that different market groups show quite different patterns of injury outcome for different crash types. The most marked differences are between head-on crashes and single vehicle into object crashes. For the former, the mass of the vehicle plays a very important role. Drivers of smaller vehicles generally suffer more severe injuries as (on average) they collide with larger vehicles, which impose higher levels of deceleration on the smaller vehicle. Conversely, drivers of larger vehicles generally fare better. Three crash types, head-ons, rollovers and single vehicle-fixed object, all impose at least three times the risk of fatal and serious injury as the other crash types, indicating clear limitations to the capacity of secondary safety systems in vehicles to modulate injury risks adequately. Circumstances that impose very higher risk of fatal and serious injuries are clearly worth addressing, particularly under a Vision Zero framework.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Monash University. Accident Research Centre (MUARC)

    Monash University Accident Research Centre, Building 70, Monash University, Victoria, 3800, Australia
    Clayton, Victoria   
  • Authors:
    • Keall, M
    • Newstead, S
  • Publication Date: 2018-10

Media Info

  • Pagination: 18p
  • Serial:
    • Issue Number: 337

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01688700
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • ISBN: 9781925413076
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 17 2018 12:25PM