The Virginia Tech Locomotion Research Laboratory is investigating the relationship between aging and falling, the second leading cause of death for those aged 45-75. .“If our research can save even one life, it will all be worthwhile,” said Thurmon Lockhart, an associate professor in the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering in Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering, discussing his efforts to find ways to prevent falls among the elderly. “As many as 50 percent of people over [age] 75 will either die or be forced to enter institutional care because of falls,” said Lockhart. Capitol Hill agrees with Lockhart about the critical importance of this type of research. The U.S. Congress recently passed and President Bush signed Senate Bill 845, the Safety of Seniors Act of 2007, which directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to expand research programs related to preventing elder falls. .“This legislation is timely,” Prof. Lockhart has said. “Falls and resulting deaths have been increasing.” Falls are the leading cause of accidental deaths in the United States among people over the age of 75 and the second leading cause for those aged 45 to 75, according to the National Safety Council, and the number of fatalities due to falls increased steadily from 14,900 in the year 2000 to 17,700 in 2005. .At Abrams Landau, Ltd., we represent people of all ages who have been injured or become disabled after falls. Calls to our Herndon Reston area injury and disability firm from elderly who have sustained slip and falls come from all over the country. William Abrams fell and broke his hip, which hastened my grandfather’s demise. I truly hope the Virginia Tech engineers’ research leads to ways to reduce or prevent falls in those of us who are over 45.