The effects of Electronic Stability Control interventions on rural road crashes in Australia: Simulation of real world crashes

About 60 per cent of all fatal road crashes in Australia occur on rural roads. While advances have been made in reducing the number of fatal crashes on metropolitan roads, the number of fatal crashes on rural roads remains relatively steady. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is an active safety system which has shown potential in preventing crashes on high speed rural roads. The ESC system can detect when a vehicle is about to skid and apply braking interventions to individual wheels to prevent the skid from occurring. Previous studies have shown that vehicles equipped with ESC have a significantly reduced crash rate compared with vehicles not equipped with ESC. However the way that the ESC system intervenes to prevent or lower the severity of crashes on rural roads has not been elucidated. Twenty crash scenarios were developed based on actual rural road crashes obtained from an in-depth crash database. With the assistance of Robert Bosch (Australia) Pty. Ltd., 12 of the scenarios were simulated using a vehicle model with and without ESC fitted. The simulations produced detailed plots that displayed the timing and magnitude of the ESC systems interventions. In two of the scenarios, no simulation was necessary as the driver made no attempt to avoid a collision. In six scenarios, the attempt at simulation was unsuccessful. For the 12 successful simulations, ESC was found to prevent a collision in 10 cases and reduce the severity of a collision in the other two.

Type: Research and Analysis Report

Sub Type: Grant

Author(s): Mackenzie JRR; Anderson RWG

Topics: Rural

Publication Date: 16/10/09