HighlightsFor news of upcoming events, please check our Events page.
C-MARC Visit: Vietnamese Delegation
On Friday 2 December 2016, C-MARC hosted a visit from a delegation from Vietnam. C-MARC staff were joined by Professor Minh Pham Ngoc, who has a fellowship at Curtin University; Dr Quang La Ngoc from the University of Hanoi and is a PhD graduate who was supervised by Professor Meuleners here at C-MARC; and Associate Professor Tran Diep Tuan, who is Rector of University of Medicine, Ho Chi Minh City.
C-MARC Visit: WALGA
Members from the West Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) visited C-MARC during August 2016. Delegates came from across the state, from Perth to Broome to Albany. Many of those who visited are involved in the Roadwise program, the Local Government and Community Road Safety Program for Western Australia which aims to engage Local Government, community groups, businesses and individuals to contribute to reducing road fatalities and serious injuries, and promoting road safety. C-MARC staff discussed some of the projects they are currently involved in and took the delegates on a tour of the driving simulators.
C-MARC Visit: Innovate Australia
C-MARC and ARRB Group hosted a tour of the driving simulators for Innovate Australia during August. Innovate Australia are a non-for-profit organisation who works with industry in order to uncover, encourage, assist and proactively promote Australian innovation. The stakeholders heard from Dr Paul Roberts, Principal Behavioural Scientist at ARRB Group, and Professor Lynn Meuleners, Director of C-MARC, about the capacity and resources of the research centre. The stakeholders had a tour of the two driving simulators with some delegates taking the opportunity to take them for a “test drive”.
C-MARC Seminar: Driver Distraction: Some Reflections on a Path to Understanding
C-MARC hosted its second seminar for 2016 that was presented by Professor Mike Regan, the Chief Scientist-Human Factors for the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB Group) in Sydney, Australia. Professor Regan discussed the complex issue of driver distraction and addressed some of the difficulties surrounding how to measure it, how to quantify its impacts, and how to transfer research knowledge into policy that can save lives.
C-MARC Seminar: eMETS – Predicting the Death and Serious Injury Benefits of a Road Safety Strategy Using Simulation Modelling
C-MARC hosted its first seminar for 2016 that was presented by Dr David Logan from the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) in Melbourne, Australia. Dr Logan discussed the eMETS (Enhanced Macro Estimates for Target Setting) model, reviewed its benefits and limitations, and highlighted a few recent simulation outputs.
Main Roads Funded Project – The Impact of Billboards on Driving Behaviour Study
Professor Lynn Meuleners from C-MARC and Dr Paul Roberts from ARRB Group Ltd. have been awarded funding from Main Roads WA to investigate the impact of digital billboards on driving performance. The experimental study will use the new state-of-the-art CMARC-ARRB driving simulator to investigate driver distraction and three specific factors relating to digital billboards, namely dwell times, placement and content. The findings will assist in making informed decisions with respect to electronic billboard approvals and will be used to inform elements of design specifications that will be incorporated into the existing Main Roads ‘Policy and Application Guidelines for Advertising Signs.
C-MARC Seminar: Microsleeps: Characteristics, Dangers, Underlying Mechanisms, Detection, and Countermeasures
C-MARC hosted its third seminar for 2015 that was presented by Professor Richard Jones from the Christchurch Neurotechnology Research Programme and the departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Communicable Disorders, and Psychology at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Professor Jones discussed microsleeps, their importance in the real world, and his research into the underlying mechanisms of microsleeps. Additionally, Professor Jones addressed where they are at in the development of a head-mounted multi-modality lapse detection system and highlighted the remaining challenges in this area of importance to accident prevention.
C-MARC Seminar: Vision and Driving Studies under Day and Night-time Conditions
The second C-MARC seminar for 2015 was presented by Professor Joanne Wood from the School of Optometry and Vision Science, Queensland University of Technology. Professor Wood overviewed a range of studies concerned with understanding how visual impairment and age impact on driving performance, identifying visual predictors of driving performance and safety, and assessing driving performance under night-time driving conditions.
C-MARC Seminar: Self-Driving Vehicles: Human Factors Challenges and Opportunities
The first C-MARC seminar for 2015 was presented by Professor Mike Regan, the Chief Scientist-Human Factors for the ARRB Group and Adjunct Professor at the School of Aviation, University of New South Wales. Professor Regan described the Australian Driverless Vehicle Initiative and outlined key human factors challenges and opportunities that need to be addressed and embraced in deploying self-driving vehicles on Australian roads.
New Driving Simulator
C-MARC is excited to announce that a state of the art advanced driving simulator will be installed at the Centre in June 2015. The purchase of the simulator has been made possible through a collaboration between C-MARC, the Faculty of Health Sciences and the ARRB Group. This $600,000 dollar simulator, developed by CKAS Mechatronics, incorporates a complete Holden Commodore vehicle with working controls and instruments which is completely enclosed in a cabin mounted on a full motion system. A full 360° visual system in combination with genuine transmission, brake, accelerator and power steering systems makes driving the simulator as realistic as possible. The simulator also gives the driver the ability to make necessary head movements and allows for full use of the mirrors during simulations. All these features combine to recreate the forces, loads, sounds and feel of real-world driving. The simulator will bring together researchers from disciplines including ophthalmology, psychology, mathematics, physiology, engineering and road safety. It will provide researchers with new opportunities to study driver behaviour in different driving conditions, with a high degree of realism, but free of crash risk.
NRP Project Grant – The DIAMOND Study
Professor Lynn Meuleners, Dr David Logan, Dr Paul Roberts and Dr Kyle Chow recently received a Neurotrauma Research Program grant for a project entitled “The DIAMOND Study: Diverging Diamond Interchanges in Western Australia: PerforMance ON a Driving simulator”. The Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) is an innovative intersection design that has shown promising results in terms of reducing serious injury crashes overseas. However, before DDIs can be introduced in Western Australia, it is essential to investigate how drivers, particularly high risk groups such as younger and older drivers, perform on these new designs. The aims of this study are to evaluate driver performance and cognitive /physical workload while navigating a DDI under different environmental conditions and signage (normal versus enhanced) using a driving simulator. The findings will guide road authorities to ensure maximum safety benefits when implementing DDIs.
Professor Joanne Wood visit
C-MARC was privileged to host a visit from Professor Joanne Wood from the School of Optometry and Vision Science, QUT, Brisbane on the 7th November, 2014. Prof Wood’s research focuses on the impact of visual impairment and ageing on functional outcomes, including understanding how visual impairment affects driving performance, on the factors affecting night-time pedestrian visibility and identifying risk factors for unsafe older drivers. Whilst visiting, Prof Wood presented to the C-MARC team an overview of studies concerned with vision and driving under day and night conditions. These included studies that assessed driving performance under night-time driving conditions to determine how the age and visual status of the driver impact on night-time driving ability, and to identify ways in which to improve the visibility, and hence safety, of vulnerable road users at night, including pedestrians and cyclists.
C-MARC Seminar: Presentations from Professor Mark Stevenson and Professor Julie Stout
Professor Mark Stevenson, the Director of the Monash University Accident Research Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, highlighted the population health effects arising from land-use changes and public policy initiatives that lead to changes in transport mode share for six international cities namely, Melbourne, Beijing, Delhi, London, Copenhagen and New York. Prof Stevenson demonstrated that policies encouraging optimal land-use for active transport, combined with provision of infrastructure that reduces the risk of injuries for vulnerable road users, can produce considerable population health benefits across both chronic disease and road trauma. View the powerpoint slides.
Professor Julie Stout, an academic and clinical neuropsychologist based at Monash University, addressed how massive screening technologies, together with cognitive neuroscience approaches to examining personality and cognitive risk behavior, can be harnessed to identify young drivers for intensive prevention strategies. Prof Stout described results from her project funded by the Neurotrauma Research Program, which demonstrated promising evidence that young people at greatest driving risk can be identified. Prof Stout went on to outline how this knowledge regarding individual driving risk can be incorporated into large scale prevention approaches aimed at reducing the risk for young drivers.
C-MARC Seminar: Bridging the Research-Policy Gap: Contributing to Repeat Drink Driving Countermeasures in WA
Professor Simon Lenton, the Deputy Director at the National Drug Research Institute, Perth, Western Australia, outlined John Kingdon’s model from his classic work in political science and public policy, Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies (1984, 2011). Prof Lenton applied Kingdon’s model to NDRI’s work in the translation of drink driving research into policy changes to prevent repeat drink driving in Western Australia. The presentation raised issues that should be considered by those interested in translating research into policy and suggested steps which can be taken to improve that translation. View the powerpoint slides.
Michelle Hobday received the Student Prize for an oral presentation at the 11th Australasian Injury Prevention Safety Promotion Conference held during November 2013 titled “The effect of alcohol outlets and sales on alcohol-related injuries presenting at emergency departments in Perth, Australia, from 2002 to 2010”. The co-authors included Professor Lynn Meuleners, Professor Tanya Chikritzhs and Dr Wenbin Liang.
ARC Discovery Grant 2013 – cataract and driving performance
C-MARC is delighted to announce that Professor Lynn Meuleners, Dr Lisa Keay, Dr Mark Young, Dr Jonathon Ng, Associate Professor Nigel Morlet and Professor Peter McCluskey received an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery grant entitled “Driving performance and self-regulation among older drivers with bilateral cataract: a prospective cohort study”. The study will examine driving performance and self-regulation before, between and after first and second eye cataract surgery. It will use naturalistic in-vehicle driver monitoring devices and a driving simulator to measure driving related outcomes.
C-MARC Seminar: Relationships linking speed and road trauma and the use of Kloeden et al’s relative risk curves to estimate crashes attributable to low and high level speeding
Professor Max Cameron, of the Monash University Accident Research Centre, discussed the use of Kloeden et al’s relative risk relationships, in conjunction with vehicle speed measurements, to estimate casualty crashes associated with each speed range. Results were presented for Perth 60 km/h limit roads and also for urban roads in Queensland.
ARC Linkage Grant – Safer Cycling
Professor Mark Stevenson, Dr Marilyn Johnson, Dr Jennie Oxley, Professor Lynn Meuleners, Associate Professor Belinda Gabbe, Associate Professor Geoffrey Rose and R Katz received a prestigious ARC Linkage Grant for a project entitled “Safer Cycling and the Urban Environment” This joint project between MUARC and C-MARC aims to improve the safety of cyclists through identifying enhanced urban road design and evaluating new designs in Australia's first cycling simulator.
Chair of the RSC visits C-MARC
C-MARC was pleased to host a visit by Professor Murray Lampard, Independent Chair of the Road Safety Council. Professor Lampard met with staff of C-MARC and was given a demonstration of the driving simulator during his visit. While visiting C-MARC, Professor Lampard also met with Professor Garry Allison, Dean, Research and Graduate Studies of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Professor Bruce Maycock, Head, School of Public Health.
Professor Donna Cross Presentation
Professor Donna Cross, of the Child Health Promotion Research Centre, Edith Cowan University discussed the peaks in child pedestrian injuries and fatalities and the major factors contributing to injuries and deaths, including the road environment; children’s physical size, perception, cognition and temperament; and parents’ supervision, modeling and teaching of pedestrian behaviour. Findings from several studies were presented as well as the implications of these findings for policy and practice.
C-MARC Successful Grants 2012
C-MARC is delighted to announce the following grants which were funded in 2012.
- NHMRC project grant, Falls Risk Associated with First and Second Eye Cataract Surgery
Chief Investigator's: Dr Lisa Keay, Prof. Lynn Meuleners, Prof. Peter McCluskey, Dr Jonathon Ng, Dr Nigel Morlet.
- Australian-China Council 2012-2013 Grant, Australia and Taiwan Road Safety Workshop.
Chief Investigator's: Dr Tom, Chen, Professor Lynn Meuleners, Delia Hendrie.
- Dementia Research Grant, Dementia and hospitalisations due to an injury: a population study.
Chief Investigator's: Dr Tom, Chen and Professor Lynn Meuleners.
- Neurotrauma Research Program, Neurocognitive Predictors of Risky Diving in Young People.
Chief Investigator's: Professor Julie Stout, Professor Mark Stevenson, Professor Lynn Meuleners
- Neurotrauma Research Program, Motor control and driving ability - quantifying the utility of motor control screening protocols for older drivers.
Chief Investigator's: Professor Garry T. Allison, Professor Lynn Meuleners, Ms Delia Hendrie, Dr. Tiffany Grisbrook.
- Australian Rechabite Foundation, Proximity to alcohol outlets and risk of road crash: a population-based study.
Chief Investigator's: Professor Rebecca Ivers, Professor Tanya Chikritzhs, Professor Lynn Meuleners, Dr Soufiane Boufous.
ARC Discovery Grant
Professor Lynn Meuleners, Ms Delia Hendrie, Dr Jonathon Ng rand Professor Andy Lee eceived a prestigious Australian Research Council (ARC) grant for a project entitled “The impact of first and second eye cataract surgery on falls and utilisation of mental health services among older Australians”.This population-based study will investigate the association and timing of cataract surgery and health-related costs in reducing the incidence of falls and utilisation of mental health services following first and second eye cataract surgery.
Presentation: Relationship between Vehicle Performance and Young Driver Crash Involvement
Peter Palamara presented the findings of the study to the Road Safety Council in March 2012. The purpose was to investigate whether vehicle performance characteristics were a contributing factor to crashes involving young drivers.
New Driving Simulator
SoPH In 2011, C-MARC together with the Faculty of Health Sciences purchased a new UC-win driving simulator. C-MARC staff were trained in the use of simulator and are currently undertaking a simulator validation study. This study will compare the on-road driving performance of 50 drivers to their performance in the simulator. It is envisaged that in the future, the simulator will be used to investigate the impact of medical and visual conditions for older drivers, fatigue and road design on driving performance.
Excellent and Active Visiting Fellowship: Dr Mark Young
Dr Mark Young, a cognitive ergonomist from Brunel University, London paid a highly productive and beneficial visit to C-MARC between the 21st to the 25th of November, 2011. The visit was funded by a Curtin University Excellent and Active Visiting Fellowship. The purpose of Dr Young’s visit was to assist in establishing a new Driving Simulator Program at the Centre. Through a series of meetings, Dr Young advised C-MARC staff on the use of driving simulators, study designs for simulator research, programming and scenario design and interpretation of simulator outputs and data.
Dr Young also delivered two seminars while in Perth. The first seminar entitled “Driver Behaviour Research: The Relative Merits of Driving Simulators” was presented to staff at Main Roads WA and discussed the pros and cons of conducting research in simulators versus on-road and how to exploit the benefits of simulators.
The second seminar entitled “Road Safety in the 21st Century: The Human Factor” was presented in the School of Public Health and discussed the latest innovations in vehicle technology and why it is important to design these systems around the driver. This seminar was well attended by enthusiastic representatives from the School of Public Health, UWA, the mining industry, the Office of Road Safety, Local Government, Department of Transport, ARRB, the Department of Health and Main Roads WA, as well as occupational therapists and engineers.
Main Roads Western Australia Research Fellowship
Main Roads Western Australia have shown ongoing support to C-MARC and have funded a Main Roads WA Research Fellow for three years. Dr Tom Chen was appointed to the position in March 2011. Some of the projects undertaken by the Main Roads WA Research Fellow to date include a review of the Safe System Approach to road safety, an evaluation of the effectiveness of red light speed cameras in Perth and an analysis of factors associated with motorcycle crashes in WA.
Seminar: Effectiveness of upgraded red light speed cameras in WA
In 2012, C-MARC presented a seminar and held a discussion session surrounding the results of the Main Roads WA Research Fellow’s analysis of the effectiveness of upgraded red light speed cameras in WA. The seminar was presented by Dr Tom Chen and Ms Delia Hendrie. It was attended by representatives from Main Roads WA, the Western Australian Police, the Office of Road Safety and Curtin University.