Virtual Auto Safety Center Launched by NIOSH

Truck drivers, firefighters and emergency responders, law enforcement officers, oil and gas industry workers, and highway construction workers are worker populations at high risk for vehicle-related fatalities, according to the agency.

NIOSH has launched a virtual research center to work on work-related motor vehicle casualties, the number one problem in U.S. safety today. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of work-related deaths and caused more than a third of all job-related fatalities in 2008.

Research work under the new NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety will address road safety for workers across all industries and occupations, building on existing studies and partnerships. NIOSH said the center will be hosted by the NIOSH Division of Safety Research in Morgantown, W.Va., and will link researchers at various NIOSH facilities. Truck drivers, firefighters and emergency responders, law enforcement officers, oil and gas industry workers, and highway construction workers are worker populations at high risk for vehicle-related fatalities, according to the agency.

"Formation of the virtual center reaffirms NIOSH's commitment to reducing the unacceptable toll of occupational fatalities and injuries related to driving, which persists year after year as the leading cause of death among American workers," said NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard. "By coordinating our research through one dedicated, internal center, we look forward to strengthening our existing portfolio and engaging with new partners."

The agency said center activities "will be guided by a data-driven approach that begins with the collection of injury data, and leads to identification of risk factors, development of injury prevention strategies, and transfer and evaluation of these strategies in the workplace under NIOSH's Research to Practice (r2p) initiative."

The center's website is http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/motorvehicle/NCMVS.html. Reports, recommendations, and other road safety resources are online here.

Researchers and others interested in further information or in partnering with the center can contact its coordinator, Stephanie Pratt, at sgp2@cdc.gov.

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