Potential benefits of an Australian Design Rule on pedestrian protection
This paper estimates the potential benefits to Australia from the adoption of an Australian Design Rule on pedestrian protection. Previously we compared the sales-weighted performance of the Australian and European new car fleets in relevant pedestrian impact tests, based on test reports from EuroNCAP and ANCAP. The comparison showed that the pedestrian protection of the new car fleet in Australia is inferior to that of the new car fleet in Europe. EuroNCAP and ANCAP use very similar tests to those prescribed by the European Directive on pedestrian safety and a proposed Global Technical Regulation. In the present study, the benefits to Australia of an ADR on pedestrian protection were estimated, based on benefit calculations that were estimated for a second phase of European regulation due in 2011. Expected proportional reductions of fatal, serious and slight casualties were applied to Australian casualty data and the associated crash costs. By examining the current performance of the new car fleet, these benefits were disaggregated into benefits that have already accrued since overseas and international regulations were mooted, and that which is yet to be realised through compliance of the new car fleet with a future regulation. It is estimated that an Australian Design Rule conforming to the proposed Global Technical Regulation with the addition of Brake Assist would reduce fatalities in Australia by approximately 28, serious injuries by 947 and slight injuries by 1248 each year, with associated savings in crash costs of approximately $386million per year. Despite recent improvements in the passive safety performance of the fleet, and the introduction of Brake Assist Systems in around 60% of current new car sales, around half of these benefits are yet to be realised.