Traffic Engineering and Vehicle Safety (TEVS)
The team’s work focuses on:
- Road safety strategy modelling and development
- Innovative road infrastructure evaluation
- Safe vehicle selection and specification, particularly for fleets
- Translating research into practice through improving road safety management in low- and middle-income countries
- Transport mode choice to improve road safety (PhD project)
- Modelling of the potential benefits of semi- and fully-automated vehicles (PhD project)
- Innovative techniques for analysing naturalistic driving data (PhD project)
The team is active in research translation and in collaborating with government and industry. The TEVS team has undertaken road safety strategy modelling for most Australian states and territories and at federal level, including the current Victorian Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030 and the new Australian National Road Safety Strategy. The underlying goal of these—and the other strategies developed with MUARC’s assistance—is to aspire to eliminating death and serious injury on Australia’s road system. The Safe System principles followed acknowledge that, as humans, we all make mistakes, and it is the goal of the designers and operators of the system to accommodate human limitations rather than demanding drivers and other road users to perform perfectly.
The TEVS team works closely with the Marketing and Communication Division of the Victorian Transport Accident Commission (TAC) on several campaigns over the years, including the award-winning Meet Graham campaign, Safety Barriers Save Lives, The Lucky Ones Get Caught, Rethink Speed (including behind the scenes) and Only Protected For A Moment.
The TEVS team collaborates extensively with other teams at MUARC, as well as with the Civil and Mechanical Engineering Departments within Monash.
Dr David Logan has been constantly developing road safety strategy modelling techniques using the eMETS (Enhanced Macro Estimates for Target Setting) model since 2005. With the goal of helping road safety stakeholders to reduce fatal and serious road trauma, eMETS brings increasing levels of sophistication to estimating the potential serious casualty savings from combining countermeasures in road safety strategies. This research draws upon best evidence from published literature in each of the Safe System cornerstones to support government agencies in creating more effective road safety strategies throughout Australia.
Three technical disruptions are impacting on the likely future of private transportation. It has been predicted that future vehicles will be electrically propelled, autonomous (driverless) driven and potentially service-owned. These vehicles could be available within the next 10-15 years and demand seems to suggest they will be popular. The TEVS group has been actively involved in identifying the likely safety benefits of these vehicles and the associated challenges they will bring for future transportation needs, city development, and society generally.
Wire rope barriers
Important TEVS research undertaken has shown how wire rope barriers can prevent severe injuries and death for vehicles that run off the road in rural areas. The study found that wire rope barriers result in significant (87%) reductions in the risk of both serious injuries and death. Consequently, as part of the TAC and VicRoads’ Safe System Road Infrastructure Program, wire rope barriers are now being rolled out along Victoria’s high-risk rural roads.