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Personal profile


Associate Professor Michael Fitzharris is the Associate Director of Regulation and In-depth Crash Investigations at the Accident Research Centre and the Injury Outcomes Research Unit. He also holds a Honorary staff position at the National Trauma Research Institute at The Alfred.

He completed his PhD in psychology which examined the physical and mental health consequences (including PTSD and depression) of serious injury sustained in road crashes. From a theoretical perspective, the role personality and coping styles to stress and their relationship to health outcomes post-crash was the primary focus.

Michael's research program covers the entire crash-continuum (pre-crash, crash, post-crash) and is centred on measures that prevent crashes, mitigate injury, and improve post-crash health outcomes.

A/Prof Fitzharris has significant international road safety experience having been the Foundation Director of the Accident Research Centre at Monash University South Africa, Johannesburg (2008-2010). In this role he had responsibility for the development of research and capacity building programmes in the areas of road safety and acute care and trauma. This saw the development of key partnerships in South Africa, Tanzania, Botswana and in particular, Namibia through the MVA Fund where he currently supervises a PhD student examining the incidence and cost of rollover crashes.

Prior to the position in Johannesburg, he was employed at The George Institute for Global Health (2007-2008) in the Critical Care and Trauma Division where the research focus was health outcomes post-trauma, pre-hospital care and the conduct of randomised controlled trials in intensive care units; he also played a key role in the establishment of a trauma registry research program in China and in the analysis of motorcycle crashes in Hyderabad, India.

He has sat on a number of expert groups, including for the World Health Organisation Global Status Report on Road Safety (2007/2009), and has been involved in Make Roads Safe Decade of Action activities in Africa. He has published many reports for government and industry, as well as in the international academic literature (https://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=paC2Hd8AAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao).

Michael is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine (AAAM) and the Australian College of Road Safety (ACRS). He is an accredited coder using the Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) by the AAAM.

Research interests

drug and drink driving; mental health and injury; impulsivity; vehicle safety; injury causation; evaluation methods; regulation and vehicle design rules

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research area keywords

  • Accident research and injury prevention
  • Africa
  • Air bags
  • Cost of road trauma
  • Decade of Action for Road Safety
  • Effectiveness of compensation systems
  • Impact of road crashes on psychological health
  • Road Safety Regulation and Policy
  • Road safety
  • Road safety in developing countries
  • Road safety statistics
  • evaluation of new vehicle technology

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or