CIREN Program

CIRENThe Department of Neurosurgery continues in its extensive research in vehicle crashworthiness in collaboration with The Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network (CIREN).

We are equipped with a full-scale crash laboratory and facilities to help significantly reduce the number of deaths on the nation’s roadways and mitigate the severity of injuries sustained in motor vehicle crashes.  The MCW CIREN Center is the first to focus its activities on brain and spinal cord injuries in motor vehicle crashes, concentrating on injuries in the very young and the elderly.

Overview

Early efforts to improve the safety of motor vehicles took place in an environment that made it necessary for safety engineers to investigate real-world crashes and work closely with physicians in order to understand how injuries occurred to real people.  This effort led to the development of crash test dummies and crashworthiness standards that have helped to significantly reduce the number of deaths on the nation’s roadways and mitigate the severity of injuries sustained in motor vehicle crashes.

During this process, however, the focus of automotive safety engineers shifted to designing vehicles that produced “good numbers” from the instruments measuring impact forces on crash test dummies.  The CIREN program aims to return the focus to understanding how injuries occur to real people.

Video clips of crash dummies are available for viewing at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/real/index.html.