MUARC saving lives since 1987
MUARC was established jointly by the Victorian Government and Monash University in 1987 in response to the state’s unconscionably high state road toll at the time.
The Centre has since earnt global esteem for informing a raft of policy changes and interventions that have reduced fatalities and injuries on Victorian roads.
Modelling suggests that 14,676 lives have been saved since the year MUARC was created, underlining the Centre’s profound impact. The corresponding saving to Victoria’s economy is $64.1 billion.
Through our strong relationships with Victorian Safety Partners for over 30 years, MUARC continues to lead research in injury safety as one of the world’s most comprehensive accident and injury prevention research centres.
MUARC is actively expanding its reach beyond Victoria through activities such as the Road Safety Management Leadership Program. The Program is delivered to Government partners across Australia, New Zealand, and numerous low/middle-income countries. We have also delivered tailored short courses for partners including the Western Australia Road Safety Commission.
Further afield, the UN has adopted our regulation on side impact protection; our work underpins all decisions on fitness to drive guidelines across Australia, Canada, the UK and the US; and we have designated status as a WHO Collaborating Centre for Injury Prevention.
Awards and recognition
- Monash University nominee for AFR Higher Education Awards (Industry Engagement) (2019)
- Winner, Vice Chancellor’s prize for Sustained Excellence in Research Impact and Enterprise (2017)
- Winner, Sustained Collaboration Business and High Education 2012: Used Car Safety Ratings
Working with Victorian Road Safety Stakeholders Towards Zero
MUARC’s evaluation research has informed our stakeholders’ efforts to curb the state’s road toll through successful initiatives such as the targeting of drink driving and speeding. Pioneering evaluation of Random Breath Testing and Speed Camera and Enforcement strategies led to significant changes in Victoria’s regulations.
The 26th annual publication of the Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR), produced by Associate Professor Stuart Newstead and his team was released in September 2018. This comprehensive guide gives consumers information on the safety of their current vehicle and any used vehicles they are considering buying based on real-world crash outcomes.
Collaborating with WHO since 2005
MUARC is designated by the World Health Organisation as a WHO Collaborating Centre for Violence and Injury Prevention for the Western Pacific Region. A clear focus of the Collaborating Centre’s activities is research and capacity building that advances injury prevention efforts in the Region’s Lower and Middle Income Countries (LMICs). MUARC’s work contributes to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals in the Region.
World-first $8m study on serious injury crashes in Victoria
In 2014, TAC committed $8 million to the MUARC Enhanced Crash Investigation Study (ECIS) as part of its strategy to reduce road trauma by 30% by 2022. The study examined more than 400 serious injury crashes in microscopic detail to gain an in-depth understanding of what causes such crashes.
Reducing truck driver fatigue
The landmark $6.5 million Advanced Safe Truck Concept, an Australian Government Cooperative Research Centre Project, is using new technology to study driver behaviour and the impact of driver fatigue and distraction. The project was launched in 2018 with project partners Seeing Machines, Ron Finemore Transport and Volvo Trucks.
The Ageing Challenge and Fall Prevention
Our researchers have been involved in falls prevention studies since our foundation in the 1980s. Major health organisations in the US and UK have endorsed the successful falls prevention program we evaluated in partnership with a Victorian local government.
Vehicle safety design
Innovative vehicle safety research and evaluation of real-world crashes has led to improved Australian Design Rules and vehicle technology regulations. These include Electronic Stability Control mandated in all Australian cars, modification of airbag systems worldwide, and United Nations global technical regulations on side impact protection.
Strengthening community resilience against natural disasters
Monash University Disaster Resilience Initiative, supported by Emergency Management Victoria, publishes the Compendium of Victorian-based Resilience Building Case Studies. In an Australian first, the Compendium enables Victorians to showcase their resilience building activities through shared learnings, insights and challenges. The Gender and Disaster Pod is just one example of the partnerships evident within the Compendium. The GAD Pod was formally established in 2015 to promote understanding of the role played by gender in survivor responses to disaster, and to embed these insights into emergency management practice. MUDRI’s partnership within the GAD Pod included the two parties presenting the successful Diversity in Disaster National Conference at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground in April 2018.
Road Safety Management Leadership Program
MUARC believes that effective road safety leadership is crucial to improved results, which is why we created the Road Safety Management Leadership Program. Since its inception in 2012, the Program has helped develop and nurture the next generation of road safety leaders. Two programs are delivered annually with over 50 national and international senior road safety leaders from government and industry taking part each year. They leave the program knowing how to build informed and innovative communities of practice to strengthen organisational leadership capacity, while contributing to the achievement of improved and sustainable road safety results.
Keeping Children Safe
MUARC’s research has successfully influenced Australian Standards and industry Code of Safe Practice for nursery products associated with injury. The Centre’s studies on vulnerable road users also includes child passengers. The large-scale ‘Child Safety in Cars’ project was an international collaboration observing children as rear seat occupants.
A sustained program of research has positively influenced Victoria’s Graduated Licensing System.
Working together within Monash….
With global expertise covering road safety, emergency management, trauma care and injury outcomes, MAIN is working to improve post-crash survival outcomes. Network partners aim to create a large-scale intervention program for pre-hospital and emergency services to optimise post-crash response.
In conjunction with the Faculties of Engineering, Information Technology, and Monash Art Design & Architecture (MADA), MUARC is developing an autonomous driving simulator as part of the Monash Infrastructure (MI) Interdisciplinary Research Seed Funding program. The project will produce a virtual on-road driving simulator that is augmented in actual on-road driving and capable of replicating the true autonomous vehicle driving experience in a realistic environment.
Another Monash Infrastructure project is researching the future of private transport in Australia. The multidisciplinary team is led by MUARC’s Professor Brian Fildes and is investigating the likely widespread impacts of future technological disruptions such as connected and autonomous vehicles in private travel and mobility. Click here for more information on the project.
MUARC contributes on the global stage through key positions on professional bodies, unique/sustained global links with key Safety and Transport agencies, and collaborations with world-class universities.
Home of key facilities and resources
The Centre is a custodian of key databases with expertise in data linking, enhancement and analysis for evaluation research; e.g. emergency services, driving (Naturalistic Driving Studies; car/motorcycle in-depth crash), compensation claim data, Australian crash data, hospital admissions, injury insurance, vehicle registration, licensing, speed surveys and geospatial data.
Our state-of-the-art facilities include a suite of simulators (car, truck, motorcycle, defence vehicles, bicycle and pedestrian) which are a hub for monitoring real-world driving.