The MUARC-TAC enhanced crash investigation study: a platform to understand the causes and consequences of serious injury crashes.
conference contributionposted on 06.02.2017, 13:33 authored by Michael Fitzharris, C. Raymond Bingham, Di Bowman, Samantha Buckis, Samantha Cockfield, Bruce Corben, Hampton C. Gabler, Jane Holden, Michael G. Lenne, Andrew MorrisAndrew Morris, Michael Nieuwesteeg, Sujanie Peiris, Amanda Stephens
Background: In recognising the consequences of serious injury crashes, the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) commissioned Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) to undertake the Enhanced Crash Investigation Study (ECIS). This paper describes the program components, seven key research questions and technical innovations used in the study. We describe the information collected and outline a ‘Safe Systems Failure Analysis’ used for each case. Project Method: Participants in ECIS include drivers aged 18 years and older seriously injured in crashes on public Victorian roads. Drivers are recruited whilst inpatients at a major trauma hospital and where possible interviews conducted. The ECIS team inspects their crashed vehicle and critically analyses the crash environment. Event Data Recorder (EDR, black-box) data is acquired from vehicles where possible and crash reconstructions are undertaken. Each case is submitted to an internal panel review with a sub-sample of cases presented to external panels throughout Victoria. This process leads to each case being submitted to a Safe Systems Failure Analysis where contributing factors and countermeasures are identified by a broad group of stakeholders. The ECIS control arm permits examination of the relationship between certain factors, such as speed and crash occurrence. Results and Discussion: In addition to describing the study, we provide an example of how the identification of crash factors, using a Safe Systems paradigm based on real-world serious injury crashes, can lead to the identification of targeted countermeasures, each with an identified policy action. Implications: This paper will demonstrate a method for creating a robust evidence base upon which government road safety policy can be built. By scaling up individual crash findings to the broader crash population, countermeasures and associated policy actions can be appropriately prioritised.