Car Occupants

Car use is growing rapidly in many countries. The resultant increase in interaction between cars, heavy vehicles (such as trucks or buses) and vulnerable road users often leads to conflicts and more crashes.

Car occupants are also at risk themselves, particularly in higher speed environments. Even in the most modern of vehicles, the chance of surviving a side impact with a tree or post reduces dramatically above 40 km/h, while the chances reduce above 70 km/h for a head-on crash with a similar vehicle. For less modern vehicles, or in collisions with vulnerable road users, survival speeds in a collision are far less.

Although driver error has a significant role in car crashes, there are many road related factors that influence the risk of crashes. It is often easier and cheaper to improve safety through a change to the road environment than it is to change driver behaviour, so improvements in the road system are an important means of improving road safety.

Road related contributing factors to crashes include

  • High speeds
  • Uncontrolled movements and turns, especially at intersections and access points
  • Lack of separation of vehicles or road users of different size (e.g. lack of facilities for pedestrians and cyclists)
  • Lack of separation for vehicles travelling in different directions (e.g. lack of median barriers)
  • Lack of advanced warning of hazards
  • Inadequate information to enable road users to negotiate the roadway safely
  • Presence of hazards, particularly at the roadside (e.g. utility poles and trees)
  • Poor road surface

    Safer Roads
    Estimated cost
    Casualty Reduction
    Central Turning Lane Full Length
    Low
    10-25%
    Delineation
    Low
    10-25%
    Intersection - Delineation
    Low
    10-25%
    Central Hatching
    Low
    10-25%
    Rumble Strips
    Low
    10-25%
    Median Crossing Upgrade
    Low to medium
    25-40%
    School Zones
    Low to medium
    10-25%
    Sight Distance (obstruction removal)
    Low to medium
    25-40%
    Skid Resistance
    Low to medium
    25-40%
    Roadside Safety - Hazard Removal
    Low to medium
    25-40%
    Intersection - Turn Lanes (Signalised)
    Low to medium
    10-25%
    Intersection - Turn Lanes (Unsignalised)
    Low to medium
    10-25%
    Parking Improvements
    Low to medium
    10-25%
    Regulate Roadside Commercial Activity
    Low to medium
    10-25%
    Intersection - Signalise
    Medium
    25-40%
    Railway Crossing
    Medium
    60% or more
    One Way Network
    Medium
    25-40%
    Roadside Safety - Barriers
    Medium
    40-60%
    Shoulder Sealing
    Medium
    25-40%
    Speed Management
    Medium
    25-40%
    Road Surface Rehabilitation
    Medium
    25-40%
    Traffic Calming
    Medium to high
    25-40%
    Lane Widening
    Medium to high
    25-40%
    Median Barrier
    Medium to high
    60% or more
    Restrict/Combine Direct Access Points
    Medium to high
    25-40%
    Intersection - Roundabout
    Medium to high
    60% or more
    Additional Lane
    High
    25-40%
    Intersection - Grade Separation
    High
    25-40%
    Realignment - Horizontal
    High
    25-40%
    Realignment - Vertical
    High
    10-25%
    Duplication
    High
    25-40%
    Service Road
    High
    25-40%
    Safer Vehicles
    Estimated cost
    Casualty Reduction
    Vehicle Features and Devices
    Low
    60% or more
    Motor Vehicle Standards
    Low
    60% or more
    Used Car Safety Ratings
    Low
    60% or more
    Vehicle Roadworthiness
    Low
    60% or more
    New Car Assessment Program (NCAP)
    High
    25-40%
    Safer People
    Estimated cost
    Casualty Reduction
    Enforcement
    Low
    60% or more
    Addressing Alcohol and Other Drugs
    Low
    60% or more
    Education
    Low
    60% or more
    Fatigue Management
    Low
    60% or more
    Seatbelts
    Low
    60% or more
    Safe Speed
    Low
    60% or more
    Publicity
    Low
    60% or more
    Emergency Response
    Medium
    40-60%
    Licensing
    Medium
    40-60%

    Safer Roads

    Safer Roads
    Estimated cost
    Casualty Reduction
    Central Turning Lane Full Length
    Low
    10-25%
    Delineation
    Low
    10-25%
    Intersection - Delineation
    Low
    10-25%
    Central Hatching
    Low
    10-25%
    Rumble Strips
    Low
    10-25%
    Median Crossing Upgrade
    Low to medium
    25-40%
    School Zones
    Low to medium
    10-25%
    Sight Distance (obstruction removal)
    Low to medium
    25-40%
    Skid Resistance
    Low to medium
    25-40%
    Roadside Safety - Hazard Removal
    Low to medium
    25-40%
    Intersection - Turn Lanes (Signalised)
    Low to medium
    10-25%
    Intersection - Turn Lanes (Unsignalised)
    Low to medium
    10-25%
    Parking Improvements
    Low to medium
    10-25%
    Regulate Roadside Commercial Activity
    Low to medium
    10-25%
    Intersection - Signalise
    Medium
    25-40%
    Railway Crossing
    Medium
    60% or more
    One Way Network
    Medium
    25-40%
    Roadside Safety - Barriers
    Medium
    40-60%
    Shoulder Sealing
    Medium
    25-40%
    Speed Management
    Medium
    25-40%
    Road Surface Rehabilitation
    Medium
    25-40%
    Traffic Calming
    Medium to high
    25-40%
    Lane Widening
    Medium to high
    25-40%
    Median Barrier
    Medium to high
    60% or more
    Restrict/Combine Direct Access Points
    Medium to high
    25-40%
    Intersection - Roundabout
    Medium to high
    60% or more
    Additional Lane
    High
    25-40%
    Intersection - Grade Separation
    High
    25-40%
    Realignment - Horizontal
    High
    25-40%
    Realignment - Vertical
    High
    10-25%
    Duplication
    High
    25-40%
    Service Road
    High
    25-40%

    Safer Vehicles

    Safer Vehicles
    Estimated cost
    Casualty Reduction
    Vehicle Features and Devices
    Low
    60% or more
    Motor Vehicle Standards
    Low
    60% or more
    Used Car Safety Ratings
    Low
    60% or more
    Vehicle Roadworthiness
    Low
    60% or more
    New Car Assessment Program (NCAP)
    High
    25-40%

    Safer People

    Safer People
    Estimated cost
    Casualty Reduction
    Enforcement
    Low
    60% or more
    Addressing Alcohol and Other Drugs
    Low
    60% or more
    Education
    Low
    60% or more
    Fatigue Management
    Low
    60% or more
    Seatbelts
    Low
    60% or more
    Safe Speed
    Low
    60% or more
    Publicity
    Low
    60% or more
    Emergency Response
    Medium
    40-60%
    Licensing
    Medium
    40-60%

    Did you know?

    Wearing a seat-belt reduces the risk of death among front-seat passengers by 40-65%

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