Traffic crashes in New South Wales involving collisions with poles are particularly devastating. More than half of these crashes in 1973 involved casualties. In terms of fatalities, they were about three times as serious as the "average" crash. They were also serious in absolute terms, accounting for about one in sixteen traffic crash fatalities. The cost of pole crashes in New South Wales in 1973 is estimated at about $8 million, or about $9 for every roadside pole in the State. The characteristics of these crashes are examined. They occurred disproportionately in the later night-early morning period and at weekends. Casualties were predominantly young occupants of motor cars car-type vehicles. A disproportionate number of these crashes occurred in fine dry weather on dry bitumen, and on straight sections of road and bends in roads. Alcohol appears to have played a strong causal role in the occurrence of pole crashes, with both routinely coded police data and specially coded sample data indicating the presence of alcohol in about one in six crashes. The characteristics indicate a relationship between pole crashes and "social driving". Existing technology is such that poles could be modified, removed or replaced to provide greater impact protection. Most of the crashes occurred at times when pedestrian traffic was low. With the exception of trees, collisions with objects other than poles were less dangerous and thus the removal of poles is not likely to simply transfer casualties from one crash type to another. A pilot program of pole modification is proposed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of such modifications as a traffic crash countermeasure in the situation prevailing in New South Wales. /HSRI/

  • Corporate Authors:

    New South Wales Dept of Motor Transport, Australia

    Rothschild Avenue, Roseberry
    Sydney, New South Wales 2018,   Australia 
  • Authors:
    • VAUGHAN, R G
  • Publication Date: 1975-9

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 112 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00131980
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Highway Safety Research Institute
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Rpt. No. 3/75 Monograph
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 5 1977 12:00AM