Technologies mitigating unintentional lane departures are very important in the Australian road safety context, particularly on high-speed rural roads. Resulting crashes from unintentional lane departures comprise a high proportion of serious injury in light vehicle involved crashes, accounting for 42% of fatal crashes and 55% of resulting fatalities. For the first time in Australia, this study has been able to estimate the road safety benefits of LDW and LKA systems in Australian light passenger vehicles through the analysis of real-world crash outcomes.

Analysis was unable to identify any significant crash effects associated with the fitment of lane departure warning systems in Australian light vehicles. In contrast, active lane keeping assist systems were associated with statistically significant reductions in the risk of involvement in run off road and head on crashes in speed zones of 70km/h or more on sealed roads. These crashes represent 42% of all fatal crashes, 16% of all serious injury crashes and 11% of total, casualty crashes in Australia. A statistically significant 16% reduction in the risk of involvement in all casualty crashes of these types and a 22% reduction estimated for fatal and serious injury crashes was associated with LKA fitment to Australian light vehicle was estimated.

As a hypothetical scenario, the road safety benefits if all light vehicles were fitted with LKA systems were estimated to quantify the maximum possible benefits of the technology in Australia. Under this scenario, total casualty crash savings in Australia of 884 per year were estimated, of which 76 are fatal crashes and 517 serious injury crashes. This represents a percentage saving of all crashes involving light vehicles in Australia of 1.76% for all casualty crashes, 3.46% for serious injury crashes and 9.09% for fatal crashes. These estimates are likely conservative given not all vehicles with LKA could be identified in the data.

Full report here.