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Road trauma could be “significantly reduced” by widespread adoption of the latest active safety and connected features, according to a study from the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC).

The study examined the potential benefits of technology like forward collision warning and lane-keeping assist being fitted to every vehicle on Australian and New Zealand roads.

Dr David Logan, senior research fellow at MUARC, says widespread adoption of automated and connected technologies in cars could prevent between 4100 and 6500 fatal or serious-injury causing crashes in Australia alone. The tech could also cut between 310 and 485 fatal and serious crashes in New Zealand each year.

Some of the Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) considered in the study include autonomous emergency braking (AEB), forward collision warning, curve-speed warnings, right-turn assist, lane-keeping assist and intersection-movement assist.

According to the study, wide adoption of C-ITS technology could help cut adjacent-direction accidents by between 35 and 50 per cent. Vehicles able to warn drivers of impending collisions with oncoming traffic also have the potential to reduce head-on accidents by 40 per cent.

Meanwhile, automated driving systems that “take over one or more aspects of vehicle control without driver intervention” decreased accidents by up to 50 per cent.

“Given the potential significant road trauma benefits, this report underlines the need to continue to invest in supporting physical and digital infrastructure, policy and trials to further understand what our future needs will be,” said Nick Koukoulas, chief Executive of austroads – the body which funded the study.

The full findings were published in Safety Benefits of Cooperative ITS and Automated Driving.

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