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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 is co-editor of the forthcoming The International Handbook on Road Safety and has published many reports for government and industry, as well as in the international academic literature (see Google scholar link).

Michael is the present Chair of the International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS) Road Traffic Prevention Subcommittee and 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. Michael also created The Global Road Safety Times, a weekly e-newspaper that captures road safety stories from across the globe.

Supervision interests

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

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2005 2019

Research Output 1998 2019

Assessing the performance of motorcyclists’ impact protectors in simulated ATD knee and shoulder impacts

Meredith, L., Albanese, B., Whyte, T., Gibson, T., Fitzharris, M., Baldock, M. & Brown, J., 2019, In : Traffic Injury Prevention. 20, 2, p. 169-173 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Evaluating rider steering responses to an unexpected collision hazard using a motorcycle riding simulator

Nugent, M., Savino, G., Mulvihill, C., Lenné, M. & Fitzharris, M., Oct 2019, In : Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour. 66, p. 292-309 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Motorcycle active safety systems: assessment of the function and applicability using a population-based crash data set

Savino, G., Pierini, M. & Fitzharris, M., 19 May 2019, In : Traffic Injury Prevention. 20, 4, p. 406-412 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Evaluation of alternative intersection treatments at rural crossroads using simulation software

Peiris, S., Corben, B., Nieuwesteeg, M., Gabler, H. C., Morris, A., Bowman, D., Lenné, M. G. & Fitzharris, M., 2018, In : Traffic Injury Prevention. 19, S2, p. S1-S7 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Near-miss crashes and other predictors of motorcycle crashes: findings from a population-based survey

Rome, L. D., Brown, J., Baldock, M. & Fitzharris, M., 2018, In : Traffic Injury Prevention. 19, S2, p. S20-S26 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Award for Excellence in Research by an Early Career Researcher

Michael Fitzharris (Recipient), 2011

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


Award for Research Impact (Economic and Social Impact)(Central Portfolios)

Michael Fitzharris (Recipient), 10 Jul 2014

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


Best paper, Distinguished Scientific Papers: Asia Pacific

Michael Fitzharris (Recipient), 14 Oct 2016

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


Early Career Researcher Best Paper Award (2010)

Michael Fitzharris (Recipient), 2010

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


Elaine Wodzin Young Achiever Award

Michael Fitzharris (Recipient), 2007

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Press / Media

Efficacy of drug-driving test programs

Michael Fitzharris


1 item of Media coverage, 3 Media contributions

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Driving under the influence of medical cannabis

Michael Fitzharris


1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Government action on silent vehicles

Michael Fitzharris, Sara Liu, Jennifer Oxley & Chris Edwards


4 items of Media coverage

Press/Media: Research

Aggression on Australian roads

Amanda Stephens & Michael Patrick Fitzharris


7 items of Media coverage, 2 Media contributions

Press/Media: Research