Crash Location Investigations

Main Roads, in cooperation with Local Government, conduct crash investigations throughout Western Australia.  These investigations are road environment assessments, often triggered by the occurrence of a serious injury crash (e.g. fatality).

To assist us in concentrating on our 'Safety' area of focus, a strategic approach has been developed for the delivery of crash investigations. This is a vital investigation process for determining if the road environment may have contributed to the causation or severity of fatal crashes and incorporates Safe System principles embedded within the process. This is to be achieved by focusing the crash investigation process on considering safe speeds and by providing forgiving roads and roadsides. This is to be delivered through a crash investigation process that accepts people will make mistakes and by considering the known limits to crash forces the human body can tolerate with the aim to reduce the reoccurrence of fatal crashes. 

Conducting crash location investigations

Crash investigations are complementary to Road Safety Audits in the identification of road environment factors as a contribution to the causation and/or severity of crashes on the public road network in Western Australia. Unlike Road Safety Audits, crash investigations are a reactive process triggered by an incident. The combination of Road Safety Audits and Crash Location Reports provide Asset Managers with powerful mechanisms to identify weak links in the road network and to reduce the risk of trauma and crashes on the road network.

The objective of the crash investigation is to identify any road environment safety issues that could represent unnecessary and/or unreasonable hazards to road users. The investigation incorporates analysis of the road crashes recorded at the location to determine crash rates, trends and crash types. The report analyses crash types at a location against the network average and recommends remedial measures to reduce the recurrence or severity of the predominant crash types.

The objectives of a Crash Location Report are to:

  • Review the existing road against current standards and recommend remedial action to reduce the probability of an incident occurring and the potential severity to an acceptable level of risk;
  • Report on the conclusions drawn and make recommendations to minimise or eliminate hazards;
  • Analyse the characteristics of recorded road crashes at the location;
  • Establish common factors for crash groupings;
  • Analyse and determine the trends (if any) in the crash pattern and the possible cause;
  • Determine whether the road crash that resulted in fatal injury was a predominant crash type; and
  • Evaluate the site in terms of interaction of the road user with the surroundings to identify potential impediments and conflicts.

To ensure that the maximum emphasis is placed on engineering and safe system treatments, every investigation team must be led by a suitably qualified and experienced Crash Investigator in accordance with the requirements of our policy.

Our Policy




Modified: 30 Jul 2019