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The challenges for rural & remote road safety: nothing new really but what can we do about them? Presentation by Prof Mary Sheehan Sydney, 10 August 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "The challenges for rural & remote road safety: nothing new really but what can we do about them? Presentation by Prof Mary Sheehan Sydney, 10 August 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 The challenges for rural & remote road safety: nothing new really but what can we do about them? Presentation by Prof Mary Sheehan Sydney, 10 August 2012 Australian College of Road Safety

2 Overview 1. Context 2.Comparison of fatal and non-fatal crashes 3.Alcohol 4.Recommendations

3 1. Context

4 “some evidence that road trauma trends over the last decade have varied between metropolitan, regional and remote areas of Australia though more work is required to better understand and respond to the road safety issues affecting people in different parts of our country” National Road Safety Strategy

5 Australian Annual Road Fatality Rates/ 100,000 Population: Australia Australia’s Rural Road Safety Action Plan “Focus for the Future” 1996.

6 Road deaths per 100,000 population by remoteness area, Australia, Extracted from Figure 11. National Road Safety Strategy

7 Rural and remote areas (population =31%): 46% of the fatal crashes 48% of the fatalities. AUSTRALIA : An estimated 700 persons killed annually in rural and remote crashes.

8 NCSA Traffic Safety Fact Sheet “2010 Rural/Urban Comparison” (DOT-HS ) USA 2010: 30,196 fatal crashes = 32,885 fatalities. Rural areas (population =19%): 54% (16,292) of the fatal crashes 55% (18,026) of the fatalities.

9 Research team: Sheehan, Siskind, Veitch, Turner, Steinhardt, Edmonston, O’Connor, Blackman CARRS-Q Rural and Remote Road Safety Research Program

10 Program Components The program of research involved several key components: Road Safety in Rural and Remote Areas of Australia, 2005 (Austroads Publication) (Tziotis, M., Mabbott, N., Edmonston, C., Sheehan, M., & Dwyer, J.) Rural and Remote Road Safety Research Project: Five year crash and area profile of North Queensland (January 1st December 31st 2002) (CARRS-Q, 2006); Recommendations from an international workshop on rural and remote road safety - October 2007 Rural and Remote Road Safety Study: Final Report, 2008 (Sheehan, M., Siskind, V., Turner, R., Veitch, C., O’Connor, T., Steinhardt, D., Blackman, R., Edmonston, C., & Sticher, G., 2008)

11 Rural and Remote Road Safety Research Study All fatal and serious hospital crashes in rural and remote North Queensland from March 2004 to June Eligible crashes (police, hospital and coroners’ data). 119 Fatal crashes. 613 Hospitalised crashes (at least 24 hours) 404 Hospital patients interviewed 682 Roadside interviews – matched to crash sites.

12 ARIA + Application (All serious study crashes, March 2004 – June 2007)

13 Crash Cluster - Ravenshoe

14 “The driver was drunk. It’s his car. He was giving us girls a lift home. Another car wanted to have a race with us and we told the driver “no”. The driver just started to laugh and wanted to race and started speeding up. We all started yelling at him that we wanted to stay alive and there was a pregnant woman in the car. We told him he should put our lives before his but he wouldn’t listen and just drove really fast. Then we hit a drain and the car clunked a few times before smashing into a building. None of us had seatbelts on except the driver.” THE CRASH

15 Contributing Circumstances to Crashes- police and interview report Contributing Circumstance Group

16 (Fatal & hospitalisation) Time of Day of Crash % of Crashes

17 2. Fatal and Non-fatal Crashes

18 Fatal and non-fatal casualties by gender and age group FatalNon-fatal MalesFemalesMalesFemales Age (years)%% ≥

19 Fatal and non-fatal casualties by road user type Road user typeFatal %Non-fatal* %Total n Car or truck driver Pedestrian Car or truck passenger Cyclist Motorcyclist Motorcycle pillion Quad bike rider Quad bike pillion TOTAL *In 10 instances, non fatal, road user type was not recorded

20 Temporal characteristics of fatal and non-fatal crashes Day of weekFatal %Non-fatal* %Total % Weekday Weekend TOTAL *In 7 cases there was insufficient information

21 Road conditions in fatal and non-fatal crashes Road conditionFatal %Non-fatal %p values Road surface Sealed/ unsealed 0.95 Wet/dry 0.10 Sealed Wet Dry Unsealed Wet Dry Horizontal alignment Straight/ obscured/ open Straight Curved View obscured View open

22 Road conditionFatal %Non-fatal %p values Vertical alignment 0.41 Level Grade Crest Dip Roadway feature Any/none 0.14 No roadway feature T-junction Bridge/ causeway Crossroads Railway crossing 1.0 Other 01.9 Traffic control Any/none 0.91 No control Give-way sign Other

23 Road conditionFatal %Non-fatal %p values* Contributory road conditions Present/ absent 0.08 Absent Present Lighting conditions Day/ night Daylight Night Atmospheric conditions Clear/ other 0.17 Clear Raining Fog 1.0 Smoke/ Dust 01.3 * p values correspond to chi-squared tests between named groups

24 Police-reported casualties by injury severity and protective equipment use Protective equipmentFatal %Non-fatal % Seatbelt Worn Not worn Unknown Total100.0 Helmet Worn Not worn Unknown Total100.0

25 Licence status in fatal and non-fatal crashes License statusFatal %Non-fatal %p values Licensed Licensed/ unlicensed 0.34 Open Provisional Learner Unlicensed Cancelled/ disqualified Never held license Other Australian operators Not licensed in Australia Unknown/ not applicable

26 Road conditionFatal %Non-fatal %p values Alcohol < Attributed Not attributed BAC > 0.05 < Attributed Not attributed Speeding related < Attributed Not attributed Travelling over speed limit < Attributed Not attributed Operator factors in fatal and non-fatal crashes

27 Road conditionFatal %Non-fatal %p values* Fatigue < Attributed Not attributed Distraction/ inattention < Attributed Not attributed Road rule violation < Attributed Not attributed * p values correspond to chi-squared tests between named groups

28 Risk ratios, with 95% confidence intervals (95% C.I.), for a fatal outcome in serious crashes in North Queensland, derived by modified multiple logistic analysis. FactorRisk ratio95% CIp Alcohol involvement definite – Speeding – Speed limit 70 – 90 km/h – Speed limit 100, 110 km/h – Road rule violation – Curve – view open – Curve – view obscured – Fatigue attributed –

29 Emergency Retrieval a,b – figures in minutes * Inter-quartile range Most fatal road crash casualties appeared to have injuries that were unsurvivable at the outset. Time Intervals Mean a Median b IQR* Notification of crash to arrival at first hospital

30 3. Alcohol

31 Alcohol Speeding is the Key Issue but Alcohol a Major Contributor – our findings indicate that for the same amount of forces alcohol means that you are physically compromised in regard to injury outcomes

32 Drinking levelHospital %Roadside % Harmful drinker Drinker Non-drinker TOTAL Drinking levels in hospitalised and roadside respondents – Audit C

33 4. Recommendations

34 Top 3 safety interventions ranked in importance by hospital patients and road side sample InterventionHospital patients Roadside sample Courtesy buses from pubs and clubs 1.5 (1)1.6 (1) Better roads 1.6 (2) Clearer identification of road hazards 1.7 (3) Overtaking lanes 1.7 (2) Roadside test facilities 1.8 (3) Importance rates from 1 = very important to 5 = not important at all.

35 Top 10 ranked in importance by hospital patients (harmful level drinkers compared with other hospital respondents) InterventionHarmful drinkersOthers Courtesy buses from pubs and clubs Better roads Clearer identification of road hazards 1.7 Overtaking lanes 1.7 Road-based fatigue initiatives Loss of license for serious offenders 1.9 Improved mobile phone range Roadside test facilities Policing people riding in back of utes 2.2 RBT Importance rates from 1 = very important to 5 = not important at all.

36 Key areas of intervention by cornerstone and geographical ( rural and remote)location. National Road Safety Strategy Safe RoadsSafer roads programs targeting run-off-road and head-on crash risk, and safety intersection treatments. Safe SpeedsReview of speed limits on higher crash risk routes. Safe VehiclesFocus on countering run-off-road crashes. Safe Road UseImproved access to graduated licensing for disadvantaged groups.

37 Crash problem areas mapped to the strategy cornerstone areas. National Road Safety Strategy

38 Recommendations Drink driving Courtesy buses should be advocated and schemes such as the Skipper project promoted as local drink driving countermeasures in line with the very high levels of community support for these measures identified in the hospital and roadside studies.

39 Enforcement Alcohol and speed enforcement programs should target the period between 2pm and 6pm because of the high numbers of crashes in the afternoon period throughout the rural region. Recommendations

40 Road environment Speed is the ‘final common pathway’ in determining the severity of rural and remote crashes and rural speed limits should be reduced to 90km/hr for sealed off-highway roads and 80km/hr for all unsealed roads as recommended in the Austroads review. Recommendations

41 Male drivers and riders Male drivers and riders should continue to be the focus of interventions, given their very high representation among rural and remote road crash fatalities and serious injuries. The group of males aged between 30 and 50 years comprised the largest number of casualties and also must be targeted for change if there is to be a meaningful improvement in rural and remote road safety. Recommendations

42 Public Education Programs Localize content of generic mass media campaigns with special attention to alcohol, fatigue and failure to wear seat belts Recommendation rural and remote road safety action plan

43 AFTER THE CRASH “When we crashed other people had seen it and came over and growled at us for getting in the car with the driver. They also hit the driver for being so stupid and putting us all in danger. All five of us have ended up in hospital. We sent my cousin in the ambulance first because she was pregnant. After the crash the driver told his family that he wanted to die. But he was also like...not really caring about us. Then my cousins were hitting him and he was saying sorry”.

44 Questions? Mark your Diaries! International Council on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety Conference (2013) August 2013, Brisbane CRICOS No J


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