Trauma in motor vehicle crashes is a major societal problem. Globally, road traffic injuries are the eighth leading cause of death. In the United States, motor-vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for older children and young adults and resulted in almost 33,000 deaths last year. This figure is expected to increase to over 34,000 deaths this year.
My research focuses on reducing death and injury from physical trauma, particularly in civilian and military motor-vehicle crashes and under body blast events to military vehicles by:
- collecting field (i.e., real-world) data and developing innovative analysis methods to characterize the factors that influence injury causation and the type of pre-hospital triage care needed,
- conducting laboratory testing and performing computational simulations that quantify human mechanical responses and tissue tolerances to dynamic loading, and
- developing criteria and tools for assessing the risk of injury that will aid in the development of countermeasures to reduce or eliminate injury, and
- applying these tools and criteria, as well as transportation data-analysis methods, to assess injury prevention technologies such as seat belts and crash-avoidance systems.
My research on civilian passenger vehicle injuries applies to all motor-vehicle occupants. However, my most recent work has focused on improving occupant protection for vulnerable segments of the population, including the obese, the elderly, and women.