Before the crash: a systematic analysis of police narratives to determine the prevalence of pre-crash factors in fatality road transport crashes

Marilyn Johnson, Lyndal Bugeja

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleOtherpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objectives: The objectives of this study were to identify the prevalence of pre-crash factors that were present in fatal road transport crashes for the deceased and counterpart road user. Methods: The study is a retrospective population-based case series study of transport-related deaths reported to coroners in Australia from 2013 to 2016. Data was extracted from the National Coronial Information System. Results: In total, 6,137 fatality crashes occurred during the study period. Police reports were available for 5,523 crashes (89.9%). The most frequently reported pre-crash factors reported behaviour specifically drivers (e.g., driving without a license or while license was disqualified). Presence of intoxicating substances were also reported in the deceased and counterparts. Analyses of toxicology reports are continuing to determine if rates are comparable to level of use in community. Conclusions: Coronial report provide detailed information that may be pertinent to understanding and potentially preventing crashes. Also emerging from the data is the extent of pre-crash factors that relate to illegal or deviant behavior and whether these are contextual or contributory factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S156-S157
Number of pages2
JournalTraffic Injury Prevention
Issue numberS2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2018
EventAnnual Conference of the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine 2018 - Nashville, United States of America
Duration: 7 Oct 201810 Oct 2018
Conference number: 62nd


  • coronial data
  • Fatality crashes
  • Haddon’s matrix
  • police narratives
  • precrash factors

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