Serious injuries in focus as Victoria cements world leader status

The Victorian Coalition Government has unveiled a world-first study into the causes of serious injury crashes that will cement the state's status as a global leader in road trauma prevention.

Over the next three years, the TAC will spend $8 million on the Enhanced Crash Investigation Study (ECIS) as part of its strategy to reduce road trauma by 30 per cent by 2022.

The cutting-edge study will examine more than 400 serious injury crashes in microscopic detail, giving researchers an unprecedented understanding of how crashes and injuries occur.

Assistant Treasurer, Gordon Rich-Phillips said the findings would guide the Victorian Government's efforts to prevent accidents and reduce the cost of crash-related serious injuries to the community, after TAC support costs alone last year exceeded $1 billion.

"We have made real progress in reducing the road toll in recent years and the ECIS is the next step in continuing to drive down fatalities and serious injuries," Mr Rich-Phillips said.

Researchers from Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) will examine approximately 5,000 individual pieces of information relating to each crash, with support from an international team of experts.

"This study will help give us a level of understanding of the science and the human factors involved in serious injury collisions that we've never had before. This understanding will then inform our decisions about where best to invest money to save lives and prevent injuries," Mr Rich-Phillips said.

Minister for Roads, Terry Mulder said the ECIS would ensure Victoria retained its position at the forefront of the global effort to reduce road trauma.

"The success that Victoria has achieved in reducing fatalities is already seen as a benchmark throughout the world. By shifting the focus to serious injury with this world-first initiative, we are ensuring we remain at the cutting edge," Mr Mulder said.

"We can't be satisfied with our achievements to date when we still have a situation where close to 6,000 Victorians are hospitalised due to transport accidents each year."

The study will help underpin Victoria's efforts to implement the Safe System approach to road safety. The Safe System aims to prevent road deaths and injuries by ensuring Victorians are safer drivers, driving safer cars, on safer roads and at safer speeds.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Kim Wells said the ECIS would help Victoria Police determine enforcement priorities.

"It will inform us what elements of driver behaviour police need to address to ensure maximum safety on the roads for everyone," Mr Wells said.

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