Injuries, not deaths, the best indicator of road trauma: expert

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Period1 Dec 2015

Media contributions


Media contributions

  • TitleThe toll behind the toll: injuries tell the true story / Injuries, not deaths, the best indicator of road trauma: expert
    Degree of recognitionNational
    Media name/outletThe Age; also Sydney Morning Herald, Canberra Times, Brisbane Times, WA Today, plus regionals
    Media typePrint
    DescriptionSerious injuries, not just deaths, are the truest indicator of road safety and should be used to educate the community, a traffic accident expert says.

    Associate Professor Michael Fitzharris, of Monash University Accident Research Centre, said Victorians needed to think more about the risk of serious injury while driving, rather than just death.

    He said it was important to tell the community the number of people airlifted to hospital, instead of focusing just on the road toll.

    "For many years, we have used fatalities as our index of road safety performance," he said. "I think it's a poor index and doesn't really capture what road trauma is."

    The latest TAC road safety campaign focuses on the message of "Towards Zero" and the aim of cutting the rate of death and serious injuries on Victorian roads.

    While safety measures such as reducing the acceptable blood alcohol level to 0.02 could be looked at, Dr Fitzharris said the community's attitude to speed needed to change.
    Producer/AuthorTom Cowie, Marissa Calligeros
    PersonsMichael Fitzharris