Injury Prevention Research in Action

Image of a soccer player holding his head with an expression of pain on his face

Did you know that injury is the leading cause of death in the United States for children and adults between the ages of 1 and 45?

One of the ways CDC addresses this important public health problem is through research.

The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control currently funds nine Injury Control Research Centers (ICRCs). They study ways to prevent injuries and violence and work with community partners to put research findings into action.

These ICRCs began a new 5-year funding cycle in August 2019. Over $7.5 million was awarded across the nine ICRCs. On average, each ICRC receives $839,000 per year. Their work focuses on three core areas: research, outreach, and training.

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Research

ICRCs study ways to prevent violence and injuries. They conduct cutting-edge research by including professionals from many different specialties to look at the causes, results, and prevention of violence and injuries. This approach brings diverse perspectives and helps identify unique and innovative solutions. The topic areas they study include motor vehicle injuries, interpersonal violence, suicide, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), opioid overdoses, older adult falls, and traumatic brain injuries.

Outreach

ICRCs work with state health departments, communities, and other organizations to ensure their research is put into action to prevent violence and injuries. They provide support and consulting to translate research findings into actionable information. Their assistance and expertise help to carry out injury prevention strategies based on scientific evidence.

Training

ICRCs train undergraduate and graduate students, and other professionals. This prepares proficient researchers and public health professionals who can go on to work in injury prevention.

Collaboration

Collaboration is key to the many ICRC successes. The recent law passed in New York State requiring rear seat belt use is a prime example. The Columbia Center for Injury Science and Prevention (CCISP) collaborated on rear seat safety research, training, and outreach for more than a decade. They worked with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOHexternal icon) and the CDC-funded Core State Violence and Injury Prevention Program (Core SVIPP) in New York. In the winter of 2019/2020, CCISP presented their research findings from New York State showing the proposed rear seat belt bill would save the state money. This collaborative evidence showed how fewer injuries happen and costs are lower when passengers in the rear seats wear seat belts.

CCISP educated lawmakers and answered questions on rear seat safety science. The bill was passed and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo and took effect on November 1, 2020. State law now requires all occupants of a motor vehicle to wear seat belts—in both front and rear seats.

For more information on Injury Control Research Centers and the research they put into action, visit www.cdc.gov/injury/erpo/icrc.