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MONASH UNIVERSITY
ACCIDENT RESEARCH CENTRE (MUARC)

THE MUARC HISTORY

1987 – Present

28 JUNE 1987 MUARC was created as a result of a partnership between Monash University and Victorian government agencies with five full time staff.
1988 MUARC commenced its first in-depth crash investigation program for the Federal Office of Road Safety that led to several studies aimed at new dynamic Australian Design Rules for new vehicles in Australia.
Launch of MUARC
1988 MUARC was a key player in the landmark TAC drink driving campaign ‘Drink and Drive, you bloody idiot’... YOU BLOODY IDIOT TV CAMPAIGN
1988 Victorian Health Promotion Foundation established and one of the first funded programs was a MUARC research study into child injuries, which led to the development of the Victorian Injury Surveillance System. 1990 General Motors-Holden approached MUARC to examine all crashes in Victoria involving recent model Holden commodores. This initial project led to the Centre’s long-running partnership with GM-Holden including the evaluation of airbags and design of increased safety of their vehicles, resulting in a fundamental change to their vehicle designs.
1990 - 1993 A major mobile speed camera program was launched in Victoria and resulted in a dramatic increase in the detection of speeding offenders and a multi-million dollar, statewide publicity campaign through all mass media. MUARC’s five-phase analysis showed the enforcement and publicity of the program had been effective, therefore supporting further investment.
1990: Accident black spot
MUARC commenced research into the Accident Black Spot Program, and revealed that the substantial government investment in infrastructure since 1979 had dramatically reduced the cost of injury at black spot locations across Victoria.
1990: Domestic violence MUARC analysed existing Victorian Injury Surveillance system data to describe the nature, patterns and circumstances of injury for identified cases of domestic violence; providing crucial insights for our health and justice agencies in dealing with this complex issue.
1992
Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR) were first produced in 1992 as a resource to help motorists buy a safe, second-hand car based on analysis of real crashes, and using police reports and injury compensation claims data to assess the safety of cars. The latest UCSR analysed more than seven million police reported crashes.
1995 MUARC staff were invited to participate in the Safety Rating Advisory Committee (SARAC) in Germany to guide the statistical assessment of used cars internationally and helped in the development of the Used Cars Assessment Program in Australia. > GALLERY OF SIMULATORS

PhD
Michael Fitzharris and Shauna Sherker were MUARC’s first PhD enrolments. Fitzharris’ thesis was on ‘Psychological Outcomes for those Involved in Motor Vehicle Crashes’, while Sherker’s was on ‘Risk Factors for Upper Limb Fractures in Children Falling from Playground Equipment’.
1998
Approval was first granted for MUARC to directly enrol PhD candidates, having met rigorous criteria for accreditation. The formation of MUARC’s own PhD program enhanced the Centre’s role within the University.
1999 - Child-resistant packaging MUARC made recommendations to the Department of Health and Aged Care about specific medications warranting mandatory child-resistant packaging based on research into childhood poisoining.
2000
After three years of MUARC research and evaluation, the TAC released Drive Smart. The CD-ROM training product aimed to advance young novice drivers’ perceptual and cognitive driving skills. In 2005, an equivalent for motorcycle riders, Ride Smart, was released. > DRIVE SMART  GALLERY

2001
TAC Safe Car Project demonstrated the groundbreaking application and benefits of new technologies including seatbelt reminder systems and Intelligent Speed Advisory Systems.
2002 MUARC's research revealed that exercise which focused on balance improvement could significantly reduce the number of falls in people over 70, resulting in the NoFalls exercise program.
2004 - 2010
Major report on medical conditions and driving, commissioned by VicRoads, resulted in revisions to the Austroads ‘Fitness to Drive’ guidelines.MUARC Report 213 MUARC Report 300
2005 MUARC was designated by the World Health Organisation as a WHO Collaborating Centre for Violence, Injuries and Disabilities...
2006: Dangers of text messaging MUARC research revealed that young drivers spend 400% more time with their eyes off the road while receiving and sending text messages. Results from this research have been used to develop targeted safety campaigns and injury prevention initiatives.
2006
Nursery furniture was identified as a major contributor to child injuries in Australia, and MUARC's research over many years has helped develop world-leading horizontal standards for new manufacturing and safety standards that will significantly improve child safety and reduce the risk of injury.
2007 - Wipe off 5 campaign
MUARC and TAC partnered on the development and evaluation of the highly successful "Wipe off 5" speeding campaign, featuring MUARC Director, Professor Ian Johnston with compelling slow-motion effects.
TAC’s WIPE OFF 5 CAMPAIGN
2008 MUARC worked with Ambulance Victoria to research the safe use of the Victorian Ambulance Clinical Information System unit in all stretcher-bearing vehicles, whether stationery or in transit, identifying safety, operational and ergonomic issues.
2009
Important MUARC-led research investigated how wire rope barriers could prevent injuries and deaths. The study found that wire rope barriers result in significant (87%) reductions in the risk of both serious injuries and death. As part of the TAC and VicRoads' Safe System Road Infrastructure Program, wire rope barriers are now being installed along Victoria's high-risk rural roads.
2009 – The Ozcandrive study to improve the safety of older drivers will deliver important decision tools for healthcare providers, as well as a driver self-awareness tool, to assist in decisions about fitness to drive.
MUARC OLDER DRIVERS REPORT
2010 MUARC partnered with WorkCover NSW to examine police equipment and its role in injuries to police officers. The study also investigated where equipment was positioned within police vehicles and the impact on safety and officer efficiency.
2011 – Motorcycle Case Control Study investigated risk factors for serious injury motorcycle crashes in... 2011: New disaster resilience Monash University Disaster Resilience Initiative unit joined MUARC... 2012: MUARC Road Safety Management Leadership Program In 2012, MUARC delivered the world’s first Road Safety Management Leadership Program... Road safety Management Leadership Program
2012 – The Enhanced Crash Investigation Study (ECIS) is MUARC'S largest Transport Accident Commission (TAC) funded project. The study is aimed at understanding the causes of serious injury due to motor vehicle crashes.
2014 – MUARC’s important partnership with the Victorian Country Fire Authority (CFA) aims to bring a prevention focus to CFA operations. Examples include the analysis of fire incident data, identifying effective measures to prevent residential fires.
2016: Driver fatigue and heavy vehicles The creation of the Cooperative Research Centre project (a partnership between MUARC, Seeing Machines and Ron Finemore) placed MUARC on the cutting edge of driver fatigue and distraction work in the heavy vehicle industry, globally.
2016 Monash University Disaster Resilience Initiative, supported by Emergency Management Victoria, published 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.COMPENDIUM
2017: Future of transport
Safety Benefits of Cooperative ITS and Automated Driving report was released, showing road trauma in Australia and New Zealand could be significantly reduced by the adoption of rapidly developing automated and connected driving technologies.
2017 MUARC was involved in research on fatal domestic violence in the Netherlands, informing changes in child protection law.
2017: MUARC recognised for ‘30 Years of Effective Collaboration’
MUARC was awarded the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Sustained Excellence in Research Impact and Enterprise. The award came after a small working group prepared a submission for the Vice-Chancellor’s Education and Research Awards titled, ‘30 Years of Effective Collaboration: The MUARC Model'.
Vice-Chancellor's Research Award