How we measure the level of harm in our land transport system may influence how we manage our safety goals. Traditional road safety measures of harm are the numbers of deaths and injuries suffered in crashes. The potential for these to be under-reported is well known but also overlooks other examples of casualties within the transport environment.
Recent safety investigations of people walking, biking, motorcycling and using other transport devices in Auckland found that considerably more people are suffering serious injuries on roads and paths from incidents not involving other vehicles. Research into road crashes nationally found similarly large social costs from non-motorised user incidents.
These findings may help inform funding decisions for maintenance of paths, vegetation and kerb-crossings, where many incidents occur. Targeting reduced casualties on our transport network can also be at odds with other targets to increase modes like walking and cycling (due to personal health benefits).
Australasian Road Safety Conference, Sep 2022, Christchurch NZ