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Researching car accidents to improve treatment

Motor vehicle accidents can cause devastating injuries to people in Illinois. Because reducing crash damages and addressing the injuries that follow can be a major public health concern, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration leads a crash injury process called CIREN that brings experts together to understand why and how serious injuries occur.

The CIREN process includes collecting data about current and future crashes alongside multidisciplinary investigations into past auto accidents. These investigations use both medical and engineering analysis to determine how injuries were caused in each accident.

The purpose of the research network is to improve prevention of motor vehicle accident injuries as well as enhance the treatment and rehabilitation process for accident victims. Both medical and engineering institutions participate in the CIREN network. In most cases, the medical centers involved are trauma centers that face a high number of incoming cases related to auto crashes. The CIREN teams include surgeons, emergency physicians and crash investigators. In addition, the network includes university engineering laboratories doing research into car crashes and human injuries.

Both the hospitals and engineering labs work together to enroll patients in the program. By analyzing the crash and investigating injuries, the professionals involved can help not only to treat the patients involved but also to develop an approach to prevent future similar injuries. The program also includes the production of academic research and published papers that address both the medical and engineering sides of traffic accident damage. In each case reviewed, over 1,000 data points are collected to better understand the situation.

Car accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries and permanent disabilities. People who have been injured in a crash due to another driver's negligence may want to work with a personal injury lawyer. An attorney may be able to help accident victims to pursue compensation for their damages, including medical bills and lost wages.

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