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Can UMC’s research findings prevent car accidents?

On Behalf of | Mar 29, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Dr. Deborah Kuhls, a longtime trauma surgeon and professor of surgery at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV), has dedicated her career to saving lives.  Many of the patients she sees have been affected by traffic crashes and they’ve left a profound impact on her that is so significant that she’s trying to help prevent serious crashes in the future.

This call to action has led Dr. Kuhls to embark on looking deep into the cause of crashes through studies. Her efforts are centered at the University Medical Center and UNLV’s Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine. They have recently been bolstered by a significant state grant that enhances the scope of her team’s critical work.

Sizeable grant is set to make a major difference

Dr. Kuhls’s research possibilities are set to expand with a generous grant of $571,279 from the Nevada Department of Public Safety, Office of Traffic Safety. By analyzing extensive data, including medical records from Nevada’s trauma centers and traffic citations, Dr. Kuhls and her team will try to understand the underlying causes of vehicular crashes and develop strategies to prevent them.

The impact of Dr. Kuhls’s research extends beyond the academic and medical communities. Her research can help legislators determine what policies can primarily impact motorist safety in various areas.

Her team’s findings have supported critical legislative changes, including the recent “Rex’s Law,” which imposes stricter penalties for reckless driving. This law, inspired by the tragic death of a young boy, is a classic example of how data-driven research can support policy changes to enhance public safety.

Future of her research

In the future, Dr. Kuhls plans to explore the mental health ramifications of traffic crashes on survivors. This new direction signifies a holistic approach to traffic safety by acknowledging that these incidents have profound emotional and psychological effects.

Even with improved legislation and better safety standards, the onus is still on every driver to operate their vehicles appropriately. With even one unsafe driver on the road, there’s still a risk of catastrophic crashes. Victims of crashes caused by negligence may opt to pursue a compensation claim to help with the costs of medical care, the income they lost if they were unable to work and other expenses that are directly related to the crash.