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Highway Safety Research Center enters into research exchange agreement with Netherlands organization

Countries throughout the world are recognizing the need to reduce severe injury and fatalities on their roads, and improve highway safety. There are a number of factors that contribute to a severe or fatal injury in a crash — anywhere from seatbelt use to excessive speed. Over 40,000 crash-related fatalities occur on U.S. roads each year — a statistic that is soaring in comparison to many other countries with similar economic and social climates as the U.S.

HSRC and SWOV representatives meet to sign agreement

As the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC) continues efforts to find the most effective methods in reducing the number of crash-related fatalities and injuries, HSRC and the Stichting Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Verkeersveiligheid (SWOV), Institute for Road Safety Research, based in Leidschendam, Netherlands, entered an agreement to collaborate on highway safety research, as well as participate in an employee exchange program between the two institutions.

"We are very excited to work in conjunction with SWOV and learn more about the type of research they conduct. Through the employee exchange program, we'll be able to have more of a first-hand account of their research methods, as well as the knowledge and insights of one of their researchers," said David Harkey, director of HSRC.

Through the exchange program, Martine Reuerings, Ph.D., began her six-week turn with HSRC in mid-April as a visiting researcher from SWOV. Dr. Reurings was able to experience and work within HSRC through the end of May. Within the next few months, HSRC will begin making preparations to send a representative to the Netherlands.

In addition to general research and the employee exchange, the two Centers will explore opportunities for collaborative projects to improve road safety in developing countries throughout the world.

HSRC and SWOV officially signed the agreement on March 7, 2007. Attendees of the University of North Carolina community signing the agreement included Tony Waldrop, vice chancellor for research and economic development, UNC-Chapel Hill; Peter Coclanis, associate provost for international affairs, UNC-Chapel Hill; David Harkey, director, UNC Highway Safety Research Center; and Fred Wegman, managing director, SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research.

The University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center
730 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Suite 300  |  Campus Box 3430  |  Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3430
Phone: 919.962.2203  |  Fax: 919.962.8710