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Greater understanding of rear-end crashes in a Safe System

David Beck, (Peer reviewed)

Crashes - Analysis

ARSC conference 2015

Whilst rear-end crashes account for less than 2% of fatal crashes on Australian and New Zealand roads, they account for an estimated 16% of serious injury crashes on urban roads and approximately 8% on rural roads. Therefore, this crash type contributes a significant proportion of the total fatal and serious injury (FSI) crashes occurring on Australian roads. As such, road safety professionals seeking to drive down FSI crashes have a responsibility to consider methods of addressing this crash type._x000D_

_x000D_As rear-end crashes are generally less severe than other crash types, it may be tempting to assume that these crashes do not warrant attention when addressing crashes resulting in fatal or serious injuries. Further, it is not possible to physically separate or shield the striking vehicle from the struck vehicle. As a result, developing options to treat the rear-end crash problem may be considered to consume too many resources for too little benefit. _x000D_

The paper describes the findings of a study designed to identify factors contributing to the incidence and severity of rear-end crashes and treatments to reduce their occurrence or mitigate their severity. The study involved a literature review, detailed analysis of 5 years of crash data from Australia and New Zealand, and a comparison of common factors at crash sites in various states. _x000D_

_x000D_This paper discusses options within the four Safe System pillars for addressing rear-end crashes in order to answer the question: Is it worthwhile investing our resources in treating this crash type?