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FHWA Highway Safety Programs

Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network (CIREN)


The Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network (CIREN) is a multidisciplinary program that brings together clinicians and engineers in academia, industry, and government to review data on patient injuries, personal interviews, and findings from the crash site and vehicle wreckage. The goal of CIREN is to identify motor vehicle design features that offer maximum occupant protection and to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of people involved in motor vehicle, pedestrian, or motorcycle crashes.

The current CIREN model utilizes medical and engineering centers. Medical centers are based at level one trauma centers that admit large numbers of people injured in motor vehicle crashes. Teams include experienced trauma surgeons, emergency physicians, trained crash investigators, and mechanical engineers, typically trained in biomechanics. Engineering teams partner with trauma centers or emergency rooms to enroll crash victims into the CIREN program.

Each CIREN case is reviewed by both medical and engineering professionals, along with the crash investigator, to determine injury causation and data accuracy. More than 1,000 data points are typically collected on every crash investigated. The CIREN database contains discrete data from 1996 to present for severe motor vehicle crashes, including crash reconstruction and medical injury profiles. A user interface is provided to allow users to select and apply various filters and search for cases of interest. These data are publically available, but sensitive information (e.g., personal, location, and medical information) has been removed from the public files to protect patient confidentiality. This database includes detailed information on the following:

  • Crash year and month.
  • Vehicle type (e.g., make, model, and model year).
  • Vehicle damage (e.g., crash type, angle of impact, change in velocity, and rollover status).
  • Occupant (e.g., seating position, age, height, weight, and gender).
  • Occupant injury (e.g., body region injured, injury severity, and actual injury code).
  • Restraint use (e.g., manual belt, air bag, and child seat).
Tool Type:
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

Further Information can be found at: CIREN Homepage.


This information is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained herein. This information does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturer's names appear in this information only because they are considered essential to the objective of this publication.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations, and translations thereof, expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Highway Administration.