Teen Driver Safety
Driving simulators offer a safe, highly reproducible environment for assessing driver behavior. However, reducing the data to easy-to-interpret metrics can be extremely time-consuming and effortful. Even worse, it can be error-prone. My recent research involves the development of a tool to help standardize driving simulator results called DriveLab.
I think it's really interesting when hot topics in the news coincide with questions raised in my clinical practice, such as last week when the New York Times published an article about the effects of marijuana on driving. Since I see a fair number of teens in my office, I've had some conversations regarding the impact of different substances (e.g., alcohol, nicotine, marijuana) on various developmental tasks, including driving.
The CIRP@CHOP Teen Driver Safety Research team uses several methodological approaches in our research, including: evidence-based intervention design and evaluation, driving simulation, on road driving assessment, and analysis of existing data sources. As the CIRP@CHOP Director of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, I have been working to find ways to improve the methods with which researchers analyze existing data sources to boost teen driver safety.