Feds Turn to UVA Center for Applied Biomechanics To Help Reverse Auto Fatality Trends

After seeing that decades of success in reducing auto fatalities had stalled and even begun to lose ground, federal highway officials are turning to the University of Virginia to help change the troubling trend on roadways. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has awarded UVA’s Center for Applied Biomechanics more than $4 million, with the potential to increase the amount to $11 million, to further its groundbreaking research on how to reduce crash deaths.

The funding comes via the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that boosted the budget for improving transportation infrastructure. 

The center is a natural choice for this research because of its longstanding partnership with the federal agency. The center employs cutting-edge technology at its North Fork research facility, including special “sleds” that can replicate almost any kind of crash scenario. The results of previous UVA-NHTSA research collaborations have led to safer car designs.

Of 12 available research contracts from NHTSA, the UVA center won eight, which “shows how essential the center has become to the federal government’s efforts,” said Jason R. Kerrigan, director of the center and an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.

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