Road trauma in regional and remote Australia and New Zealand in preparedness for ADAS technologies and autonomous vehicles

Sujanie Peiris, Janneke Berecki-Gisolf, Bernard Chen, Brian Fildes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Achieving remote and rural road safety is a global challenge, exacerbated in Australia and NewZealand by expansive geographical variations and inconsistent population density. Consequently, there exists a rural-urban differential in road crash involvement in Australasia. New vehicle technologies are expected to minimise road trauma globally by performing optimally on high quality roads with predictable infrastructure. Anecdotally, however, Australasia's regional and remote areas do not fit this profile. The aim of this study was to determine if new vehicle technologies are likely to reduce road trauma, particularly in regional and remote Australia and New Zealand. An extensive review was performed using publicly available data. Road trauma in regional and remote Australasia was found to be double that of urban regions, despite the population being approximately one third of that in urban areas. Fatalities in 100 km/h + speed zones were overrepresented, suggestive of poor speed limit settings. Despite new vehicle ownership in regional and remote Australasia being comparable to major cities, road infrastructure supportive of new vehicle technologies appear lacking, with only 1.3-42% of all Australian roads, and 67% of all New Zealand roads being fully sealed. With road quality in regional and remote areas being poorly mapped, the benefits of Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) technologies cannot be realised despite the fact new vehicles with these technologies are penetrating the fleet. Investments should be made into sealing and separating roads but more importantly, for mapping the road network to create a unified tracking system which quantifies readiness at a national level.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4347
Number of pages26
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • ADAS
  • Fatalities
  • Major cities
  • Regional
  • Remote
  • Rural
  • Urban

Cite this