Decade of Action for Road Safety

Promoting behavior change for road safety
Flaura K. Winston, MD, PhD at the World Bank's Narrating Behavior Change Workshop in Mexico City, May 2016

With the goal to ensure the global community focuses on road safety for children, the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP) at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has joined the World Health Organization (WHO)'s Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. This initiative is dedicated to stabilizing and reducing worldwide road injuries and fatalities by heightening safety awareness at the regional, national, and global level.

WHO estimates that 90 percent of the world's 1.25 million fatalities on the roads occur in developing countries, even though these countries have approximately half of the world's vehicles. Without action, road traffic injuries will be the leading health burden for children over age 5 in these countries. These nations can benefit from decades of lessons already learned in the U.S. These include basic infrastructure development, such as motor vehicle safety regulations and new car assessment programs, as well as theoretically-driven, evidence-based methods to create a culture of traffic safety.

CIRP has been a leader in road safety for children research for the past two decades and regularly participates in global conversations on road safety for children.

Here are some recent highlights of CIRP's global road safety for children involvement:

  • In May 2016, CIRP Scientific Director and Founder Flaura K. Winston, MD, PhD presented at the World Bank's Narrating Behavior Change Workshop in Mexico City, Mexico. The workshop was organized to bring together research centers from around the world and producers of entertainment education to drive positive behavior change. Learn more.
  • Read about Dr. Winston's teen driver safety research presentation at the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland meeting in March 2015.
  • In 2015 and 2016, scientists from the Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies (CChIPS) presented at several international research meetings, including the Protection of Children in Cars Annual Conference in Munich, Germany; the Japanese Society of Automotive Engineers Forum on Head Kinemetics and Injury Potential for Children in Child Restraints in Oblique Far-Side Impact in Yokohama, Japan; the 2nd International Conference on Children's Car Safety Technology in Shanghai, China; and the SAFER Vehicle Research Center's Child Road Safety Conference in Gothenburg, Sweden.
  • The Guatemala-Penn Partnership, led by Charles C. Branas, PhD, CIRP senior fellow, director of the Penn Injury Science Center, and director of the Penn Urban Health Lab, draws on almost a full century of Penn involvement and includes projects dedicated to road traffic safety and trauma treatment, as well as violence prevention, maternal and child health, mental health, food and nutrition, and chronic disease treatment and prevention. Dr. Branas is also an affiliate faculty member at the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala and works closely with the Guatamalan National Commission of Trauma. Learn more.
  • In February 2014, CIRP Co-Scientific Director and Director of Engineering Kristy Arbogast, PhD received an honorary doctorate from Chalmers University in Goteborg, Sweden for her research that focuses on the development of new auto and restraint safety designs and biofidelic child anthropomorphic dummies. Dr. Arbogast continues to collaborate with Chalmers, Swedish industry, and academic and government researchers to improve rear seat safety for child occupants in that country. She is also a fellow with the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine (AAAM).

Here is a sampling of the Center's key road safety for children research projects that have national and global implications:

    • Partners for Child Passenger Safety (PCPS), a unique industry/academic research initiative that provided the only large-scale child-focused crash surveillance data system in the U.S. It informed new product development, test protocols and regulations, education, policy, and medical practice.
    • The Center's biomechanical engineers and others are implementing novel approaches to measure how children respond to the forces of a crash and to estimate their bodies' tolerance to various types of injury. This research is contributing to the development of more accurate pediatric anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs), also known as child crash test dummies.
    • CIRP's multidisciplinary Teen Driver Safety Research team is advancing the science to understand why teens crash and to create interventions to prevent these crashes from occurring.

Read a blog post about Parachute's National Teen Driver Safety Week in Canada.

Read a blog post about Israel's National Child Safety Action Plan.

Visit the official Decade of Action website.

    Follow CIRP's "safetymd" about road safety for children