Projecting effects of improvements in passive safety of the New Zealand light vehicle fleet

Michael Keall, Stuart Newstead, Wayne Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives. In the year 2000, as part of the process for setting New Zealand road safety targets, a projection was made for a reduction in social cost of 15.5 percent associated with improvements in crashworthiness, which is a measure of the occupant protection of the light passenger vehicle fleet. Since that document was produced, new estimates of crashworthiness have become available, allowing for a more accurate projection. The objective of this paper is to describe a methodology for projecting changes in casualty rates associated with passive safety features and to apply this methodology to produce a new prediction. Method. The shape of the age distribution of the New Zealand light passenger vehicle fleet was projected to 2010. Projected improvements in crashworthiness and associated reductions in social cost were also modeled based on historical trends. These projections of changes in the vehicle fleet age distribution and of improvements in crashworthiness together provided a basis for estimating the future performance of the fleet in terms of secondary safety. Results and conclusions. A large social cost reduction of about 22 percent for 2010 compared to the year 2000 was predicted due to the expected huge impact of improvements in passive vehicle features on road trauma in New Zealand. Countries experiencing improvements in their vehicle fleets can also expect significant reductions in road injury compared to a less crashworthy passenger fleet. Such road safety gains can be analyzed using some of the methodology described here.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-280
Number of pages6
JournalTraffic Injury Prevention
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2007


  • Crashworthiness
  • Road Safety
  • Secondary Safety
  • Vehicle Fleet Safety

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