Evaluation of the benefits of vehicle safety technology: the MUNDS study

Real-world retrospective evaluation of the safety benefits of new integrated safety technologies is hampered by the lack of sufficient data to assess early reliable benefits. This MUNDS study set out to examine if a “prospective” case-control meta-analysis had the potential to provide more rapid and rigorous analyses of vehicle and infrastructure safety improvements. To examine the validity of the approach, an analysis of the effectiveness of ESC using a consistent analytic strategy across 6 European and Australasian databases was undertaken. It was hypothesised that the approach would be valid if the results of the MUNDS analysis were consistent with those published earlier (this would confirm the suitability of the MUNDS approach). The findings confirm the hypothesis and also found stronger and more robust findings across the range of crash-types, road conditions, vehicle sizes and speed zones than previous. The study recommends that while a number of limitations were identified with the findings that need be addressed in future research, the MUNDS approach nevertheless should be adopted widely for the benefit of all vehicle occupants.