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Type: Conference paper
Title: The relative contribution of system failures and extreme behaviour in South Australian crashes: preliminary findings
Author: Wundersitz, L.
Baldock, M.
Citation: Proceedings of the Australasian Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference, held in Wellington, New Zealand, 4-6 October, 2012: pp.1-11
Publisher: Australasian College of Road Safety
Publisher Place: online
Issue Date: 2012
Conference Name: Australasian Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference (2012 : Wellington, NZ)
Statement of
Lisa Wundersitz and Matthew Baldock
Abstract: Within the road system, there are compliant road users who may make an error that leads to a crash, resulting in a 'system failure', and there are also road users who deliberately take risks and display dangerous or 'extreme' behaviours that lead to a crash. Crashes resulting from system failures can be addressed through improvements to road system design more readily than crashes resulting from extreme behaviours. Therefore, the classification of crash causation in terms of system failures or extreme behaviour is important for determining the extent to which improvements to the road system can be expected to reduce the number of crashes. This study examined the relative contribution of system failures and extreme behaviour in South Australian crashes as identified from information in Coroner's investigation files and databases of in-depth crash investigations conducted by CASR. The analysis of 83 fatal crashes, 272 non-fatal metropolitan injury crashes and 181 non-fatal rural crashes indicated that very few non-fatal crashes (3% metropolitan, 9% rural) involved extreme behaviour by road users and, even in fatal crashes, the majority (57%) were the result of system failures. This means that improvements to the road transport system can be expected to be much more effective in reducing crashes than concentrating on preventing extreme behaviours. Such a strategy could reduce the incidence and severity of a large proportion of crashes in South Australia.
Keywords: Fatal crash; accident investigation; road user behaviour; coroner; safe system
Rights: Copyright status unknown
RMID: 0020125609
Published version:
Appears in Collections:Centre for Automotive Safety Research conference papers

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