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Transport and Road Safety (TARS) Research is a research group at UNSW dedicated entirely to road and transport safety research. The philosophy of the road and transport safety research focus at the TARS is the safe system principle, commonly used in occupational health and safety and adopted by the Australian Transport Council in 2004. This requires a multi-disciplinary approach to road safety research and policy development, where researchers focus on Safer Roads, Safer Vehicles, and Safer People and their integration into a Safe System.

TARS research is structured around the essential disciplines needed for an effective transport and road safety research centre: safety policy and systems, psychology, human factors, engineering and crashworthiness, information technology systems, biomechanics, biostatistics, epidemiology, and social sciences. Further information is available here.

Administratively, the TARS research team is located within the School of Aviation in the Science Faculty. This capitalises on the strong research synergies in human factors and transport safety research between the TARS research team and existing researchers in Aviation.


Research Performance & Annual Reports


Research Policies

TARS has research policies and guidelines to support and underpin its broad research and other activities. The most important of these is its Data confidentiality and Privacy Policy that governs how TARS uses the data it has access to. All staff and students of TARS are required to sign a Code of Conduct before they use any of the TARS's data resources. Other documents relate to the TARS's Publication Policy and guidelines for authorship.


Injury Mortality and Morbidity Data Collections

TARS has access to a number of injury mortality and morbidity data collections, such as:

Crashlink NSW: Provided on a yearly basis by the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority, it includes all traffic accidents, recorded by the police, in which a person was killed or injured or at least one motor vehicle was towed away and the crash occurred on a public road. The datasets contains a wealth of information on the circumstances of traffic crashes including characteristics of the vehicle(s) and the person(s) involved as well as the environmental conditions at the time of the crash.

Motor Accidents Authority Datasets: The Motor Accidents Authority datasets originate from the Third Party personal injury insurance scheme for motor vehicles registered in NSW. The scheme provides compensation for people injured in motor vehicle accidents as a result of another vehicle owner or driver fault. The dataset contains information regarding severity and type of impairment for all injuries recorded as well as the type of health services used after a motor vehicle crash. The dataset also contains detailed costing of motor vehicle crashes, including those associated with legal services, acute care, rehabilitation, aids and appliances, home and vehicle modifications, future care, future economic loss as well as non economic costs.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Death Data: This dataset contains death-related information supplied to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) by the State of Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages, as well as the Coroner's office, for each calendar year. The ABS checks the information supplied to it and appends codes for the cause of death, the place of residence of the deceased person and numerous other variables. Each registered death is coded according to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). Other variables included in the dataset include age, sex, marital status, country of birth, indigenous status, local area and area health service of residence.

National Coroners Information System: The National Coroners Information System (NCIS) is a national internet based data storage and retrieval system for Australian coronial cases. Information about every death reported to an Australian coroner since July 2000 (January 2001 for Queensland) is stored within the system, providing a valuable hazard identification and death prevention tool for coroners and research agencies.

Hospital Admissions: The NSW Admitted Patients Data Collection (APDC) includes information on inpatient separations from NSW public and private hospitals, private day procedures, and public psychiatric hospitals. Included are data on episodes of care in hospital, which end with the discharge, transfer, or death of the patient, or when the service category for the admitted patient changes. Information collected includes patient demographics, circumstances of the incident, diagnoses, and clinical procedures. The APDC is a financial year collection from 1 July through to 30 June of the following year. The hospitalisation data were coded using the International Classification of Disease, 10th Revision, Australian Modified (ICD-10-AM).

Other Data Collections: TARS also has access to a number of other data sources which contain information on specific injury-related issues. These include the NSW Trauma Minimum Data Set, NSW Population Health Survey data, NSW Emergency Department Data Collection, Australian Bureau of Statistics National Health Survey, and the Workers' Compensation Scheme Statistics.


Current Research


Past Research

This section lists concluded research projects.

(Please note that some of the older research can be found on the IRMRC website.)