Safety related attributes of registered vehicles and of vehicles that crash in South Australia
The objective of this study was to characterise and compare registered and crashed vehicle fleets with respect to vehicle attributes related to safety. Two samples of vehicles were examined: a random sample of 2000 passenger vehicles registered in South Australia and all passenger vehicles involved in serious casualty crashes in South Australia in 2008-2009. Vehicles were linked with sales and specification data. The resulting data sets were disaggregated according to the year in which the vehicles were sold. The installation rates of various technologies were estimated in each year-cohort of vehicles, as were trends in other attributes such as buyer type and vehicle mass. In general, the availability of technology is similar among crashed vehicles and registered vehicles for a given year of vehicle, although ESC equipped vehicles are under-represented in crashes. However, given that crashed vehicles are older than in the general registered fleet, availability of safety equipment in crashed vehicles is less. Average ANCAP ratings are improving, but not in the area of pedestrian protection. There are strong upward trends in vehicle mass in every segment. The full introduction of a safety technology into new vehicles has generally taken between 10 and 20 years. ESC was present in 50% of the registered vehicle sample bought new in 2008 and 2009, but was in only 13% of the fleet overall. The importance of non-private buyers with respect to the makeup of the registered fleet is evident with more than half of vehicles originally bought for non-private use.