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Monash Experts: National Road Safety Week

Monash University 4 mins read

This week, 5-12 May, is National Road Safety Week, an annual initiative from the Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH) Group, partnering road safety organisations and Government. The week highlights the impact of road trauma and ways to reduce it.

Experts from the Monash University Accident Research Centre are available to discuss key topics related to road safety.

Professor Stuart Newstead, Director of the Monash University Accident Research Centre

Contact details: +61 3 9905 4364, +61 417 104 497, or 

  • Vehicle safety including:
    • Used Car Safety Ratings
    • Crash avoidance technology effectiveness
    • Heavy vehicle safety SUVs/4WDs
    • Vulnerable (pedestrian, cyclist) road user safety
    • ANCAP assessment

The following can be attributed to Professor Newstead:

“Improvements in vehicle safety have been a key driver in reducing road trauma over the last 50 years. Safer vehicles contribute to both protecting those involved in crashes from being killed or seriously injured and, in more recent years, avoiding a crash in the first place.

“Despite these improvements there still remains much untapped potential to further reduce road trauma through safer vehicle choices, particularly for our younger and older drivers. A key focus of national road safety week should be how to unlock this potential in the future.”

Professor Jennie Oxley, Deputy Director, Monash University Accident Research Centre

Contact: +61 3 9905 4374 or

  • Sharing the street
  • Behavioural factors contributing to crash involvement
  • Safe mobility of vulnerable road users (including children, young  road users, older road users, motorcyclists, cyclists, pedestrians, micro-mobility users)

Associate Professor Michael Fitzharris, Monash University Accident Research Centre

Contact: +61 428 522 784 or

  • Vision Zero and the Safe System approach
  • Scale of road trauma in Australia, including the impact of crashes on mental and physical health
  • The role driver behaviour plays in road trauma, particularly speeding, drink-driving and drug-driving
  • Findings from the hospital-based in-depth TAC-funded
  • Enhanced Crash Investigation Study, including the safety of vehicles, speed limits, driver error and other behaviours (distraction, drowsy driving), and road design
  • Safety of vulnerable road users, (blind or have low vision)
  • The impact of quiet electric vehicles on mobility, independence, and mental health.

The following can be attributed to Associate Professor Fitzharris:

“Road trauma remains a significant problem in our community, and we must continue to work on reducing the number of people killed on our roads. We must recognise the enormous number of children and adults that are seriously injured, some requiring care for the rest of their life.

“Risky behaviours, including speeding, drink-driving and drug-driving continue to be significant problems on our roads. Other transgressions like failing to indicate and rolling through stop-signs must also continue to be addressed as a way of embedding appropriate driving behaviours and compliance.

“The TAC-funded Enhanced Crash Investigation Study (ECIS), conducted in Victoria, demonstrated that travelling only 3 km/h over the limit increased a driver’s crash risk by 25 per cent; travelling 10 km/h over the speed limit doubles a driver’s crash risk. Achieving 100 per cent compliance with the speed limit would translate to an eight per cent immediate reduction in the number of serious injury crashes. With over 7000 people admitted to hospital for these injuries in Victoria alone, it shows why compliance with the speed limit is so important.

“Quiet electric vehicles pose a significant risk to the safety of people who are blind or have low vision. Up to half of people who are blind or have low vision have had a near miss incident with a quiet electric vehicle, significantly impacting their sense of independence, mobility and mental health. The recent step of Australian Government to require the fitment of Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems (AVAS) through law for passenger cars, trucks and buses is to be applauded. Vehicle technology will play a key role in reducing road trauma in the future and this is an important step in this journey.”

Dr Jason Kearney, Research Fellow, Monash University Accident Research Centre

Contact +61 405 697 503 or

  • Protecting those who protect us
  • Paramedic physical and psychological injury at work

The following can be attributed to Dr Kearney:

“Vehicle-related incidents are the leading cause of paramedic work-related fatality. Responding to incidents on the roadside poses a significant risk to emergency services worker safety – greatly increasing their risk of serious physical, psychological and fatal injury.

“Road trauma not only has a profound impact on the individuals and families of those directly affected, it also has adverse consequences on the mental health of emergency responders attending these incidents.” 

Associate Professor David Logan, Associate Director, Traffic Engineering and Vehicle Safety, Monash University Accident Research Centre

Contact: +61 419 103 377 or

  • In depth crash investigations
  • Road safety strategies
    • Safe System (i.e., interaction between safe vehicles, safe roads & roadsides and safe speeds) 
  • Safety of partially- and fully-automated vehicles

For any other topics on which you may be seeking expert comment, contact the Monash University Media Unit on +61 3 9903 4840 or  

For more information on Road Safety at Monash university -

The Monash University Accident Research Centre
Through excellence in injury prevention research and translation, we support, challenge and engage citizens, communities, governments and industry to eliminate injury from all causes.The Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) has a strong history of excellence in safety science research, research training and education, both professional and academic. The scope of MUARC’s work has encompassed road and transport safety, injury prevention and community safety and disaster resilience. 

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