Institute research in spotlight at traffic safety conference
Roadway Safety Institute researchers Janet Creaser and Frank Douma were among the presenters at the 2014 Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) Conference held in November in Duluth, MN. Creaser, with the HumanFIRST Lab at the University of Minnesota (U of M), presented on the Teen Driver Support System, a smartphone-based application that warns teen drivers in real time about their risky driving behavior and reports this to parents. The session showcased the results of a recent field operational test, including the role that feedback played in developing safe driving habits with teens. In a session titled “How Are We Doing? A Critical Look at Various TZD-related Efforts,” Douma discussed the impacts to date of Minnesota’s primary seat belt law, which was passed into law in 2009.
Also at the TZD conference, Institute director Max Donath received the 2014 Kathy Swanson Outstanding Service Award. The award recognized Donath’s exceptional leadership in efforts to improve traffic safety in Minnesota, build partnerships, and mentor others in the field. In addition to conducting numerous safety-focused research projects, Donath has worked with local, state, and national safety partners to ensure that his work produces real-world results that can be put into practice. Largely as a result of his efforts, the U of M is recognized nationally as one of the top universities in transportation safety.