ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Australia's National Crash In-Depth Study Progress Report, July 2002

Logan, David, Fitzharris, Michael, Fildes, Brian

Vehicle Safety


Australia's National Crash In Depth Study has been running for more than two years, with over 200 cases collected to date in Victoria and NSW. Participants of this retrospective study have been hospitalised as a result of injuries sustained in a motor vehicle crash, where the vehicle in which they were travelling is no older than 10 years. Data relating to the participant?s recall of crash events is collected via a structured interview, their medical records examined, their vehicle inspected and photographed and the crash scene inspected in detail. A ?best evidence synthesis? approach (Slavin, 1986) is utilised to determine the crash circumstances, occupant injury causation and potential contributing factors to the crash.

The case vehicles in the study comprise 48% ?Large? cars and 4WDs (or SUVs) and 39% ?Small? cars, demonstrating the current polarisation of the vehicle market. Over 80% of the objects struck were other cars or trees and poles. Delta-V, an indication of crash severity, was more than 50% higher for rural compared with urban crashes. With respect to injuries, cases with injuries of MAIS2 or greater, chest and lower extremity injuries predominate for car-car crashes, while head, chest and injuries to the extremities were the most common for car-pole crashes. Information relating to the road environment is presented.

ANCIS is unique in that study sponsors from such varied backgrounds as the automobile industry, state and federal governments, automobile clubs and road designers are successfully collaborating. This study is important for Australia by offering a more detailed set of vehicle crash data for analysis and intervention than is presently available in mass data. The study highlights that motor vehicle crashes are not only a function of the car and its occupants, but also the road environment and infrastructure play an integral role in both injury causation and outcome.