Victoria’s Transport Accident Commission (TAC) has partnered with the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) to launch a new study into the cause behind hundreds of serious road accidents.
The Enhanced Crash Investigation Study (ECIS) will run over the next three years, closely examining the details of more than 400 serious injury crashes to gain new insight into the cause and outcome of road accidents.
Researchers from MUARC will study some 5000 pieces of information in each crash, drawing on expert knowledge from Australia and from around the world.
“This study will help give us a level of understanding of the science and the human factors involved in serious injury collisions that we’ve never had before. This understanding will then inform our decisions about where best to invest money to save lives and prevent injuries,” Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips said.
The TAC will spend $8 million on the study in a bid to cut the state’s road trauma numbers by 30 percent by 2022.
The organisation said that its support costs in 2013 alone exceeded $1 billion.
Victorian Roads Minister, Terry Mulder, described the study as a world-first project that further highlight the state’s leading role in the global effort to cut road trauma.
“The success that Victoria has achieved in reducing fatalities is already seen as a benchmark throughout the world. By shifting the focus to serious injury with this world-first initiative, we are ensuring we remain at the cutting edge,” Mr Mulder said.
“We can’t be satisfied with our achievements to date when we still have a situation where close to 6,000 Victorians are hospitalised due to transport accidents each year.”
As part of the study, the TAC has constructed an "improvised crash scene" at Melbourne's Southbank, which sees a crashed Ford Falcon sedan resting against a pole to demonstrate the damage and injuries caused in such an accident.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services Kim Wells said the ECIS would help Victoria Police determine enforcement priorities.
“It will inform us what elements of driver behaviour police need to address to ensure maximum safety on the roads for everyone,” Mr Wells said.
The ECIS will also form part of Victoria’s ‘Safe System’ project, which aims to prevent road deaths and injuries through education, infrastructure improvements and promoting the purchase of safer cars.