Dinosaurs, The Flat Earth, and Road Safety Research in Australia
This paper explores aspects of the development of scientific knowledge in Australian road safety research. It argues that road safety research in Australia has generally focused on the development of analytic and evaluative methods, and the collection of data concerning crash and injury problems and the outcomes of various interventions. There has been little interest in developing an understanding of the factors that underlie either crashes and injuries, or the effects of road safety programs. This issue is discussed in the context of scientific progress in general and a three-dimensional model of scientific knowledge. The paper also draws attention to the short term benefits and long term disbenefits of the current situation by drawing on recent road safety research projects.