Newswise – UNLV’s Kerkorian School of Medicine has received a $437,000 grant from the Nevada Department of Public Safety to continue its long-running study of traffic-related injuries and fatalities in Nevada.
A team of researchers from the school’s Department of Surgery created and maintains a longitudinal database covering more than a decade of vehicular crash and injury data from statewide trauma centers of the Nevada Department of Transportation. The information leads to a better understanding of the risky behaviors that contribute to vehicle-related deaths and injuries.
“Nearly 400 people died in 2021 alone as a result of traffic accidents on Nevada roads, which is the highest in 15 years,” said the project’s lead researcher, Dr. Deborah Kuhls. , Professor of Surgery and Traumatology and Critical Care Surgeon. “Most serious and fatal incidents on our roads are the result of risky behavior, and we must continue to push to understand and ultimately change these behaviors to prevent this tragic trend from continuing.”
Dr Kuhls, co-researcher Laura Gryder and other members of the school’s road safety research group regularly report key traffic and injury data, including motor vehicle incidents, speeding and accidents, traffic tickets, etc.
Deaths and injuries from vehicle-related crashes continue to rise in Nevada, researchers say, creating one of the state’s most critical public health issues. Among the recent discoveries of the project:
- More than half (52%) of all statewide traffic citations from 2018 to 2020 were related to speed.
- Injury outcomes continue to be much worse for occupants of vehicles admitted to trauma centers following incidents on high-speed roads. People involved in crashes on highways with speed limits over 70 MPH experience higher hospital costs and more serious injuries.
- More than one in 10 pedestrians (12%) struck by a vehicle died in hospital, and one in five required long-term care. More than 70% of pedestrians injured in car crashes live in low-income neighborhoods.
The grant continues a program funded since 2008. The funding supports ongoing data collection and analysis, injury prevention research, and pedestrian safety education efforts. Through ongoing research and regular publications, the program highlights trends in traffic and accident data to encourage the development of safety policies that will save lives and prevent injuries.