Late last year, the National Academies of Science awarded the renowned Virginia Tech Transportation Institute's (VTTI) Center for Injury Biomechanics two research grants amounting to $1.5 million. These grants will go towards the study of a very specific area: fatal road departure crashes. The study is an effort to help identify how road departure crashes occur, as well as the injuries and fatalities involved in these crashes.
The statistics are daunting. In the United States over 10,000 motorists suffer fatal injuries in road departure crashes. We hear of these road departure fatalities and crashes in Georgia and on the news regularly. Sometimes drivers are under the influence, sometimes they are speeding. But when these crashes happen and cars or motorcycles collide with objects on the side of the road -- whether a guardrail, a tree, a telephone pole or other object -- the result is often fatal. Although guardrails are often intended to protect lives, they sometimes can be just as harmful in a road departure crash as other objects on the side of the road.
One of the VTTI grants is for a very large-scale study of passenger vehicles and will cover a four-year period and the other is specifically focused on the injuries resulting in fatal motorcycle crashes and roadside barriers. The purpose - to save lives.
VTTI is well-known in the area of research regarding crash causation studies. The hope is that in the close study of what is called "injury biomechanics" which includes the study of many factors that occur in an injury or fatality as a car or motorcycle goes off the road, more can be done to avoid serious injury and fatalities.
The reason these studies are so important is that we really do not know why road departure crashes are so serious and fatal. The study will gather information to provide more insight into why this is the case. The motorcycle study will focus on crashes in which the motorcycle road departure involves a traffic barrier since these are statistically more likely to be fatal than passenger vehicles that go off the road.
The Atlanta Injury Attorneys Blog will keep readers posted on the progress of this study as well as other efforts at the VTTI and its Center for Biomechanics which is doing ground-breaking safety research. In the weeks to come we will bring readers up to date on some of the other work that is being done to protect motorcyclists and motorists from serious injury.
If you or someone in your family has been injured or suffered a fatality in an accident, we can help. The Law Offices of P. Charles Scholle, P.C., has significant experience in helping Greater Atlanta and Georgia families seek compensation for injuries and return to some sense of normal life after a tragedy. Please contact us for a confidential, free consultation at our main Gwinnett County law office, or at our offices in Decatur, the Perimeter and Buckhead.