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TitleMode choice and safety: How might a shift from car trips to walking, cycling, and public transport affect road safety?
AuthorsRaftery SJ
AbstractIncreasing walking, cycling, and use of public transport is identified in South Australia’s strategic plans (Carbon Neutral Action Plan 2016-2020 and Operation Moving Traffic) to reduce the state’s carbon footprint and improve the operation of the transport system. The aim of this report is to investigate the road safety implications of a shift in travel modes from motor vehicles to active, yet vulnerable modes. To address this topic, a literature review was undertaken to address two key questions: What is the safest mode of travel? What happens when there are changes in travel mode? Studies of road user risk using a variety of exposure variables (e.g., number of trips, per kilometre travelled, or per time spent travelling) reveal a general hierarchy of greatest to lowest risk of motor cycle/scooter/moped > bicycle > pedestrian > passenger vehicle > bus. Factors contributing to risk among pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport passengers are examined. Further evidence regarding the reduction of passenger vehicles, the Safety in Numbers effect for pedestrians and cyclists, and the effects of mode shift is also reviewed. While an increase in injuries among vulnerable users can be expected, the net effect on road safety will be an overall reduction in total casualties, largely driven by a reduction in car related casualties. Improving safety for vulnerable road users will be important: a traffic system made safe for vulnerable road users will be safe for all road users.
Report NumberCASR218
PublisherCentre for Automotive Safety Research
Publisher CityAdelaide
SponsorThis research was funded via a deed with the South Australian Government
Page Count26

Raftery SJ (2023). Mode choice and safety: How might a shift from car trips to walking, cycling, and public transport affect road safety? (CASR218). Adelaide: Centre for Automotive Safety Research.

Files Available for Download
CASR218.pdfFinal report