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Vulnerable road user safety: A comparison between a middle-income and high-income country.

Oxley, J, Fildes, B, Sadullah, F, Lahausse, J, Newstead, S (Peer reviewed)

General

2011

The study set out to compare crash and injury patterns of Vulnerable Road Users (VRU) between a high- and a middle income country to illustrate relative outcomes between such countries. Several analyses of crash and casualty crash patterns were undertaken using real-world crash databases from Australia and Malaysia. The factors examined included the type of vulnerable road user, the vehicle involved, the primary crash cause, age of the road user, injury outcome (fatal or casualty), crash location and single/multi-vehicle collisions. The findings from this study highlighted emerging and severe road crash problems currently not being addressed in existing safety initiatives within these countries by governments or vehicle manufacturers.

A number of potential solutions to these problems were identified including engineering countermeasures for vehicles and road infrastructure, greater use of protective equipment for riders, enhanced police enforcement efforts and technologies, and improved training and licensing practices. Public policy response to this growing epidemic in low and middle-income countries has been muted at national and international levels and policy makers need to recognise this growing problem as a public health crisis and design appropriate policy responses. With growing usage of VRU transport in developing countries, this burden is expected to become even larger in the years ahead unless action is taken.