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Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer / Blog / Car Accident / How University of Virginia Engineers Could Reduce Traffic Injuries in Richmond

How University of Virginia Engineers Could Reduce Traffic Injuries in Richmond


Motor vehicle collisions can result in severe and deadly injuries for a variety of parties involved in the crash, including the driver, other vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. While cities like Richmond have taken steps to implement Vision Zero plans that aim to eradicate roadway deaths, vehicle occupants and pedestrians continue to sustain serious and fatal injuries at a high rate. Is better engineering the best solution? A recent grant awarded to the University of Virginia could result in research that improves vehicle safety for all parties and reduces the rate of deadly crashes. Our Richmond car accident lawyers can tell you more.

Serious Injuries in Richmond Traffic Collisions 

The city of Richmond has been part of the Vision Zero Network, taking multidisciplinary steps designed to reduce collisions, including those involving pedestrians and bicyclists, in the city. The overarching aim across the globe is to “eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all.” Vision Zero begins from the premise that all accidents and injuries are preventable. Yet, even though the city of Richmond has outlined nine primary components of Vision Zero that involve community-wide efforts from the top-down and the ground up to reduce crashes, serious injuries continue to occur.

Indeed, as data from RVA.gov reveals, injury rates resulting in incapacitation have only declined slightly between 2020 and 2023, and fatalities actually rose substantially between 2021 and 2022. In short, there is a need for greater attention to vehicle occupant and pedestrian injury risks and methods of prevention.

Engineering Technology to Reduce Traffic Fatalities 

Could better engineering be a solution to the problem of severe injuries and deaths in Virginia traffic crashes? According to a press release from the University of Virginia, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded the university $4 million, with the possibility of a nearly triple increase in that amount, “to further its groundbreaking research on how to reduce crash deaths.”

Research at the University of Virginia’s Center for Applied Biomechanics will focus on vehicle engineering and safety technology to address a range of current and serious injury risks, including but not limited to:

  • Reasons for gender disparities in the severity of injuries, and making vehicles safer for female occupants;
  • Making reclining in passenger seats safer, including as driverless cars become an increasing possibility;
  • Improving the design of buses and limos for vehicle occupants; and
  • Considering engineering designs to reduce injuries to pedestrians crossing roads.

While new research could prove promising, in the meantime it remains essential for pedestrians to be aware of serious injury risks in urban areas and for motorists to avoid dangerous behaviors that could lead to accidents, including distracted driving, reckless driving, and intoxicated driving.

 Contact a Richmond Auto Accident Lawyer for Assistance

Nobody in Richmond should have to be concerned about the risk of injury in a pedestrian accident or a traffic collision, but these types of crashes remain relatively common. In many cases, a negligent motorist can be held accountable for the harm they have caused. Whether you were injured in a crash or a loved one suffered life-threatening or deadly injuries, you should seek advice from one of the experienced Richmond auto accident lawyers at Latham & Martin as soon as possible. We can assess your case and can provide you with information about your options for filing a claim.




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