Join us for a presentation by Rob Foss of University of North Carolina, speaking on transportation safety. The full presentation title is: "The Next Big Leap in Teen Driver Safety: Helping Novices Know How To Do What We Do without Knowing."
Most efforts to reduce motor vehicle injuries among teenagers have limited success at best. The only notable exception – led by scientists at Michigan and North Carolina – resulted from drawing on well-established scientific understanding to guide a dramatic revision of young driver licensing policy. This lecture will focus on how continuing to apply theoretical understanding of critical human phenomena from multiple disciplines will be required to improve what novice drivers learn and the rate at which they do so. This approach will differ substantially from how new drivers have traditionally been trained in the U.S. It will be shaped by combining insights gained from newly developed abilities to directly observe and measure driver behavior with current knowledge about learning, cognition, memory, and decision-making. Video of adolescent drivers and their parents, obtained using in-vehicle cameras, will be used to illustrate key points.
Robert Foss, PhD, is Director of the Center for the Study of Young Drivers and Senior Research Scientist at the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center. He is an Adjunct Professor in the UNC Departments of Maternal & Child Health and Health Behavior and is the founding chair of the U.S. Transportation Research Board Subcommittee on Young Drivers, which comprises the leading young driver researchers in North America. His research has focused primarily on factors contributing to the high crash rates of teenage drivers and the role of alcohol in transportation-related injury. As a social psychologist, his work focuses on the behavioral, social, and cultural aspects of traffic injury prevention, with an eye toward developing effective social policies to enhance transportation safety. Another important focus of Rob's work is to improve measurement and research methodology. This theme runs through most of the research he and his research team have conducted, focusing on direct observation and measurement of salient behaviors in field studies, rather than relying solely on self-report data or analysis using existing databases.