Enhancing road safety research and analysis using geospatial information tools
In 2011, the Victorian Transport Accident Commission (TAC) obtained new data and software designed to validate, correct and geographically code address information in large volumes. These new tools have enabled the TAC to enhance its datasets with more complete and accurate address information and allow the appending of geo-demographic information (such as Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Census data) down to neighbourhood level. These dataset enhancements have already had a significant impact on key areas of the TAC's road safety research program including an ongoing risk modelling project aimed at identifying key target markets, and key drivers of road trauma, injury severity and TAC compensation costs. The addition of geo-demographic information to input datasets have enabled conclusions to be drawn about crash risks associated with factors such as ancestry, language background, education, employment industry and income. The dataset enhancements have also benefited TAC's social and market research survey program with improvements in sample representativeness, mail out address accuracy and phone number matching processes. The addition of geo-demographic data has opened up analytical opportunities for survey results with insight into behavioural and attitudinal differences by geo-demographic factors such as socio-economic disadvantage. This paper discusses the TAC's new geospatial information tools and its applications to date within the road safety research program.