Projecting effects of improvements in passive safety of the New Zealand light vehicle fleet to 2010

The influence of trends in heavy vehicle travel on road trauma in the light vehicle fleet

Monash University Accident Research Centre - Report #259 [2007]

Authors: Delaney, A.K., Newstead, S.V. and Watson, L.M.

Full report in .pdf format [258KB]


Increased travel by heavy vehicles (rigid trucks, articulated trucks and buses) has been identified as one of the key components of total growth in vehicle travel to 2010. This study examines the effect of anticipated growth in heavy vehicle travel on road trauma in the light passenger vehicle fleet. Road trauma levels are measured by the number of light vehicle driver fatalities and serious injuries resulting from light passenger vehicle collisions with heavy vehicles.

Using exposure data sourced primarily from the BTRE and the ABS in conjunction with NSW Police reported crash database, a model to project relevant future trends in road trauma has been developed to reflect three key elements of the road trauma chain: exposure, crash risk and injury outcome given crash involvement. In addition to the specific results presented in this study, the model developed may be used to assess the likely impact of proposed policy changes on heavy vehicle related road trauma. Future heavy vehicle related road trauma trends are projected based on two scenarios of future crash risk. The results demonstrate the sensitivity of heavy vehicle related road trauma to crash risk and highlight the importance of continuing to reduce heavy vehicle crash rates to offset projected growth in heavy vehicle travel and deliver reductions in heavy vehicle related road trauma. A potential remedy to predicted increases in heavy vehicle related trauma is explored and demonstrates the application of the model as a policy evaluation tool.

Sponsoring organisation - Road Traffic Authority of NSW, Royal Automobile Club of Victoria Ltd, NRMA Ltd, VicRoads, Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia Ltd, Transport Accident Commission and Land Transport New Zealand, the Road Safety Council of Western Australia, the New Zealand Automobile Association and by a grant from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau