Research translation and partnerships

For more than 30 years MUARC has been translating innovative road safety research into real impact.

Our work has informed government policy, evaluated public safety programs and helped shape the products and direction of industry.

We are a trusted partner of government, industry and community groups, with a reputation for rigorous strategy development and modelling, expansive data collection and analysis, policy advice, economic analysis and in-depth research.

Our multi-disciplinary, scientific approach allows us to work effectively in translating research into outcomes.

Our scientists are experts in the holistic 'Safe System' philosophy of injury prevention that finds death and serious injury on our roads unacceptable, and incorporates speed management, human factors, vehicle design and technology, road infrastructure design, data systems and public policy to eradicate the problem.

We are available to undertake a variety of consultancy services in addition to, and building on, our extensive research history.

The value of these services is reflected in the diversity and quality of the partnerships we have maintained over our first 30 years as the leading transport safety and injury prevention research centre:

  • Australia   Post
  • CityLink
  • Civil   Aviation Safety Authority
  • Commonwealth   Department of Infrastructure and Transport
  • European   Commission
  • Exxon-Mobil
  • Ford
  • Helsinki   University of Technology
  • Holden
  • New   Zealand Transport Authority
  • SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research, Netherlands
  • OECD International Transport Forum, France
  • Orica
  • Peugeot Citroen
  • Shell
  • Swedish Transport Administration
  • Transport Accident Commission
  • Toyota
  • University of Leeds
  • VicRoads
  • Victoria   Police
  • University of North Carolina

A rewarding partnership

MUARC's long and successful collaboration with Australian automotive giant Holden has set the benchmark for innovation in vehicle safety design.

In 1990, Holden engineers approached us about a project to evaluate how effectively driver airbags in Commodores reduced harm resulting from head-on and frontal crashes.

Our researchers compared Commodores fitted with airbags against earlier models not fitted with the device, and went on to develop a system of measuring harm that could be applied to real situations. This world-first technique became a powerful tool for use in the design of motor vehicles.

The 'measure of harm' assessed the cost of trauma sustained from motor vehicle accidents to the Australian community. Our researchers' data showed the Commodore airbag prevented around $20,000 of harm per crash.

Our study was the first to show that airbags, when used with a seatbelt, were very effective, demonstrating that there were significant reductions in head and chest injuries from the devices.

Airbags were introduced into all Holden Commodores in 1993, and in 1996 our findings were presented at an international vehicle safety conference in Melbourne.