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Curtin University
C-MARC: Curtin Monash Accident Research Centre

Student Research Opportunities at C-MARC

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Injuries and death in the community resulting from road crashes and other incidents have a major impact on people and the health system.

C-MARC offers the opportunity to combine academic research activities to prevent injuries with 'real world' agencies in road safety, the Health Department and other organisations. Research in these areas can make a tangible difference to health in the community.

Most of the following topics have aspects which can be investigated at various levels ranging from final year, Honours, Masters or PhD projects.

Further information regarding research degrees can be found at:

Please contact us and we'll discuss these possibilities in more detail. Alternatively, bring your own ideas and issues you’re passionate about. Either way we'll be happy to help you develop suitable research.

Potential Research Projects

  1. Driving performance and self-regulation among older drivers with cataract: a prospective study
    Despite the high prevalence of cataract among the older population, there is limited evidence on the impact of first and second eye cataract surgery on driving performance and driving self-regulation. This study will examine changes in the driving patterns, self-regulation practices and driving performance of cataract patients throughout the cataract surgery process using in-vehicle driver monitoring devices and a driving simulator. The results will improve road safety for the ageing population with cataract.

    driving simulatorResearch with older drivers
  2. Safer road design for older drivers: a simulator- based study
    The proportion of older drivers on the roads is increasing in Australia due to the ageing population. Due to cognitive, physical and visual decline, the road environment presents several challenges for this group. This study will use a state of the art driving simulator to determine how different elements of the road design including size and colour of road signage, road markings and intersection design affects the driving performance of a sample of older drivers.

  3. Reducing driver distraction: Assessing the impact of roadside advertising on driver attention and performance
    While it is clear that roadside advertising has the potential to affect driver distraction, little is currently known about the specific contexts in which it may place drivers at risk. This experimental study will use a state of the art driving simulator, eye tracker and driver monitoring device to assess the effects of roadside advertising on visual attention and driving performance in a sample of participants. Participants will drive a programmed route in a driving simulator which includes several different road environments and driver workload conditions. This route will be driven several times using different roadside advertising types and positions.

  4. Advance warning signs on metropolitan roads: a simulator study
    It has been proposed that electronic advanced warning signs alerting drivers whether other vehicles are approaching on an intersecting or merging road may improve driver safety. This project will use a driving simulator to test the effectiveness of different advanced warning signs, their positioning and design for improving driver attention, behaviour and safety.

  5. Social disparities in road safety and health
    Previous findings suggest that individuals with low socio-economic status (SES) have a greater risk of crashes and other health issues. In addition to personal SES (e.g.  personal income), social/area SES (e.g. with respect to neighbourhood) may also play a role in the increased risk of crashes or disease. Relationships between SES and crashes/health status have been suggested. However, these relationships are rarely examined, meaning it is difficult to develop interventions for individuals from low SES backgrounds.
    --Suitable for Honours, Masters or PhD students
  6.  A literature review of interventions on lowering speed to reduce crashes
    Speed plays a significant role in crash occurrence as well as crash severity. Vehicles travelling at lower speeds have lower risk of crash and a reduced risk of serious injury in the event of a crash, compared with those travelling with high speeds. Interventions or new technologies, such as speed cameras, have been developed to tackle speeding around the world.  This project aims to review, both nationally and internationally, different interventions and technologies focusing on lowering speed and their effectiveness for crash prevention.
    --Suitable for Honours and Masters students   
  7. The impact of data quality on research outcome, using WA crash data as an example (other databases can be used for this project too)
    “Garbage in, Garbage out”. It is essential to understand  data quality before using the data. Incorrect information, missing values and incomplete data are common flaws in databases and may pose obstacles and produce biased results. This project will use the WA crash database as an example and investigate in detail the quality of the data.
    --Suitable for Masters and PhD students