UNLV gets new funding to research traffic safety

UNLV gets new funding to research traffic safety

The Kerkorian Institution of Medicine at UNLV was recently awarded a $437,000 grant from the Nevada Department of Public Safety to research study of traffic-related injuries and casualties in Nevada.

Researchers from the school’s Division of Surgery maintain a longitudinal database spanning more than a decade of vehicle crash and injury data. 

“Nearly 400 people died in 2021 alone from vehicular crashes on Nevada’s roadways, which is the most in 15 years,” said Dr. Deborah Kuhls, a professor of surgery and trauma and critical care surgeon. “Most of the serious and deadly incidents on our roads are the consequence of risky behaviors, and we need to keep pressing to understand and ultimate change these behaviors to prevent this tragic trend from continuing.”  

Kuhls and other members of the institution’s Traffic Safety Research Group routinely report on traffic and injury-related data, consisting of motor vehicle-pedestrian accidents, speeding and also crash outcomes and traffic citations.

Fatalities and injuries from vehicle-related accidents remain to climb in Nevada, creating what researchers said was a public health challenge. Among the job’s current findings:

More than half of Nevada traffic citations are speed related, and “Those involved in crashes on highways with 70+ MPH speed limits experience higher hospital charges and more severe injuries.”

The grant has been funded since 2008. Data from the project helps to inform safety policies with the goal to save lives, researchers noted.