Funded by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, the Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network (CIREN) is a multi-center research program involving a collaboration of clinicians and engineers in academia, industry, and government. In June of 2010, UAB and its Center for Injury Sciences became the sixth CIREN center joining the Medical College of Wisconsin, University of Virginia/ Inova Fairfax Hospital, Wake Forest University/ Virginia Tech, the University of Maryland and the University of Washington. Together, we are pursuing in-depth studies of crashes, injuries, and treatments to improve processes and outcomes. CIREN's mission is to improve the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of motor vehicle crash injuries to reduce deaths, disabilities, and human and economic costs.
At these centers, patients who have been significantly injured in motor vehicle crashes consent to allow a crash investigator to reconstruct the crash. The crash investigator documents vehicle deformation and occupant contacts while the nurses and physicians then collect information on the patient's injuries. A team of medical professionals, crash investigators and engineers then collaborate to link each occupant injury with a component inside the vehicle. By obtaining a better understanding of how occupants are injured in car crashes, the network aspires to influence vehicle design and safety regulations.