Road Traffic Injury | Featured Research

A Systems Approach to Pedestrian Safety, Phase II: Examining Congestion Pricing Policies

The goal of this project is to develop a system dynamics simulation model that can be used as a learning tool to explore the pedestrian safety impacts of specific, current policy approaches. Given the recent focus and proposed implementation of congestion pricing policies in the U.S., we will specifically explore the pedestrian safety impacts of these policies, illustrating how system dynamics tools can be used to create virtual learning environments and explore potential system-wide effects of policies prior to implementation. PI: Rebecca B. Naumann, PhD, MSPH | Co-Is: Kristen Hassmiller Lich, PhD; Stephen W. Marshall, PhD; Jill Kuhlberg, PhD

Urban freight and road safety: Trends and innovative strategies

The goal of this project is to evaluate the impacts of urban freight on road safety through detailed spatial and longitudinal analyses. We also aim to review novel last-mile delivery options and identify the advantages and disadvantages of these options in improving road safety. PI: Noreen McDonald, PhD, MS, MCP | Co-Is: Rebecca Naumann, PhD, MSPH; Christopher Cherry, PhD

A Safe Systems Approach to Intersection Planning and Design in the United States

The IPRC is collaborating with the UNC Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC) on this U.S. Department of Transportation-funded project. The goal of this work is to draw on systems science and safe systems principles to develop a technical basis for informing intersection planning and design decisions in the U.S. PI: Laura Sandt, PhD, MRP | IPRC subject matter expert: Rebecca B. Naumann, PhD, MSPH

Driver Licensing Policies and Young People in North Carolina: Unintended Consequences on Racial/Ethnic Minority Populations

The goal of this project is to improve understanding of race and income differences in graduate driver licensing system (GDLS) effects on crashes and associated injuries, as well as the extent of unlicensed driving associated with GDLS enactment among young people in NC. This is project is funded by IPRC’s award from the CDC National Center Injury Prevention and Control for the 2014-2019 funding cycle. PI: Yudan Wang, PhD | Co-Is: Robert Foss, PhD | Arthur Goodwin, PhD | Stephen W. Marshall, PhD

This is Year 4 of a project begun in 2016 and building on pilot work completed in 2014-2016. The ability to integrate safety information from a variety of sources in North Carolina has the potential to improve safety analysis, inform subsequent policy and program decisions, and support communications with the public and with transportation decision makers. CCHI is working with the NC Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) and the NC Traffic Records Coordinating Committee (TRCC) towards a goal of evaluating the need for, and feasibility of, a statewide injury surveillance system in its 2017 Traffic Safety Information Systems Plan. Working with collaborators in the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center and Highway Safety Research Center, CCHI staff are successfully demonstrating the ability to integrate crash and health data and use them to address questions of interest to stakeholders. Year 4 of this work includes maintaining and updating the data documentation of 12 different data sources for integration created as part of a separate 2-year project completed in 2019. PI: Anna Waller, ScD | Co-Is: Katie Harmon, PhD; Amy Ising, MSIS; Dennis Falls; Meichun Li, MSIS; Clifton Barnett, MSIS; Laura Sandt, PhD; Seth LaJeunesse, MPA; Libby Thomas, MS; Bevan Kirley, Eric Rodgman, MPH; Sharon Schiro, PhD; Sandra Greene, DrPh


North Carolina Crash Injury Surveillance System

The NC Injury and Violence Prevention Branch, the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center, the UNC Carolina Center for Health Informatics, and the UNC Highway Safety Research Center are collaborating on the development of the North Carolina Crash Injury Surveillance System, the first of its kind in North Carolina. The Project Team is building on prior strategic planning activities and an existing network of motor vehicle crash injury stakeholders to successfully link at least one year of crash data to one or more years of emergency department visit and death certificate/vital records data. The methods and evaluation results of the data linkage will be thoroughly documented. It is the ultimate objective that the proposed project will lead to the development of a sustainable fully-integrated motor vehicle crash-health outcome data system in North Carolina that will serve as the basis for ongoing research, injury prevention program development and evaluation, and policy development and evaluation. PI: Anna Waller, ScD | Co-Is: Stephen W. Marshall, PhD; Katie Harmon, PhD; Nancy Lefler, Amy Ising, MSIS; Eric Rodgman, MPH; Dennis Falls, Clifton Barnett, MSIS; Mike Dolan Fliss, PhD

Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety (CSCRS)

One of the Department of Transportation’s Five National University Transportation Centers supporting the FAST Act Priority of Promoting Safety

Led by the UNC Highway Safety Research Center in collaboration with the IPRC and the UNC Department of City and Regional Planning, CSCRS unites leading transportation research, planning, public health, data science, and engineering programs at Duke University; Florida Atlantic University; University of California, Berkeley; University of Tennessee, Knoxville; and UNC-Chapel Hill. The goal of the CSCRS is to accelerate progress in reducing transportation-related injuries and fatalities by utilizing both Safe Systems and systems science principles, tools, and techniques. The IPRC is an active collaborator in several of the CSCRS’s key research projects, including:

Opioids at the Health and Transportation Safety Nexus
The goal of this project is to better understand the prevalence of opioid prescriptions after a traffic-related crash, and how often that prescription leads to future negative outcomes. PI: Christopher Cherry, PhD | IPRC Co-Is: Stephen W. Marshall, PhD | Rebecca B. Naumann, PhD, MSPH

Structures of Stakeholder Relationships in Making Road Safety Decisions
The goal of this project is to examine transportation safety network structures that ultimately result in high quality transportation safety decisions. This project utilizes organizational network analyses to examine the structure and attribute of road safety coalitions across the country. Co-PIs: Seth LaJeunesse | Stephen W. Marshall, PhD | Analyst: Rebecca B. Naumann, PhD, MSPH


Road Traffic Injury | Selected Prior Research

Impact of North Carolina’s Motorcycle Helmet Law on Hospital Admissions and Charges for Care of Traumatic Brain Injury

This study estimated the impact of North Carolina’s universal motorcycle helmet law on hospital admissions for traumatic brain injury (TBI) and associated hospital charges. Researchers found that North Carolina’s law generated large health and economic benefits for the state and its taxpayers, with averted hospital charges to taxpayer-funded sources estimated to be between $9.5 million and $11.6 million for the year 2011 alone.  The Study was published in the North Carolina Medical Journal, 2015. PI: Rebecca B. Naumann, PhD, MSPH | Co-Is: Stephen W. Marshall, PhD | Scott K. Proescholdbell, MPH | Anna E. Austin, MPH |Kathleen Creppage, MPH

Motorcycle Crash-Related Emergency Department Visits and Hospitalizations and Traumatic Brain Injuries in North Carolina

Key findings from this work included that 26% of hospitalizations due to motorcycle crashes resulted in a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and that charges for TBI hospitalizations were nearly $9,000 greater than charges for those without such a diagnosis. Results of the study were published in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 2015. PI: Katherine J. Harmon, PhD | Co-Is: Stephen W. Marshall, PhD, Scott K. Proescholdbell, MPH | Rebecca B. Naumann, PhD, MSPH | Anna Waller, ScD

Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes Following Motor Vehicle Crashes

This work examined the association between crashes and pregnancy outcomes. A key finding was that crashes were especially harmful and resulted in worse outcomes among unbelted pregnant women, as compared to those who were wearing a seat belt. Study results were published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2013. PI: Mihaela Galica-Vladutiu, MD | Co-Is: Stephen W. Marshall, PhD | Charles Poole, ScD | Carri Casteel, PhD | M. Kathryn Menard, MD, MPH | Harold Weiss, PhD, MPH, MS

The goal of this study was to identify the graduated driver licensing (GDL) components associated with the largest reductions in fatal crash involvements for 16-17-year-old teens. The research team found clear evidence for a minimum learner permit holding period of 9-12 months and a passenger restriction allowing only one teen passenger for 6 months or longer. Results of the study were published in the Journal of Accident Analysis & Prevention, 2013.  PI: Scott V. Masten, PhD |Co-Is: Robert Foss, PhD | Stephen W. Marshall, PhD

Graduated Driver Licensing and Fatal Crashes Involving 16- to 19-Year-Old Drivers

This foundational work examined the impact of graduated driver licensing (GDL) programs with fatal crashes among 16 to 19 year-old teens. Results indicated that stronger GDL programs were associated with a lower rate of fatal crashes for 16-year-old drivers, as compared to programs without key GDL components. Study results were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 2011. PIs: Scott V. Masten, PhD | Robert Foss, PhD | Stephen W. Marshall, PhD