Center for Injury Research and Prevention

Traffic Medicine and Transportation Equity Research

transportation equity

Researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia are collaborating with researchers from the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland, Brown University School of Public Health, and other research organizations to conduct traffic medicine and transportation equity research.

Traffic medicine embraces all the disciplines, techniques, and methods developed to not only reduce injuries and deaths from motor vehicle crashes, but also to support safe mobility, including assessing fitness to drive as we age and providing alternative means of transportation when driving is not an option. The goal is to offer continued safe driving for those with relevant medical conditions whenever possible and to support the use of public transportation and ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft when it’s not.

Transportation equity research focuses on identifying and addressing barriers to reliable transportation for improving health outcomes and reducing health disparities, one of five non-medical priority areas for improving health as part of Medicare and Medicaid’s Accountable Health Communities Initiative. More than 3.6 million Americans miss or delay healthcare because of transportation barriers, and this lack of access to care can lead to serious short-term and long-term health issues.

Transportation Equity, Health and Aging: A Novel Approach to Healthy Longevity with Benefits Across the Life Span

There is a need for a balanced medical perspective when assessing fitness to drive, one that can appropriately weigh actual safety risks against the real health consequences of restricting mobility. A partnership between the fields of health care and transportation could facilitate this balance. More sophisticated, individualized approaches and modeling are becoming available and could allow for personalized prevention that optimize outcomes not only for older adults, but also across the life span. In a commentary for the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), researchers seek to promote a culture that ensures our future well-being by encouraging physicians to support safe transportation as a key determinant of health and social inclusion.

Read the commentary.

Read a blog post about the research.

Authors: Desmond O’Neill, MD; Eliabeth Walshe, PhD; Dan Romer Nina R. Joyce, PhD; Andrew R. Zullo, PharmD, MPH; Jasjit S. Ahluwalia, MD; Melissa R. Pfeiffer, MPH; Allison E. Curry, PhD; Funding: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Driver’s License Suspension Policies as a Barrier to Health Care

In 43 states courts can suspend a driver’s license for non-driving-related (NDR) events, such as failure to pay a fine or appear in court. Evidence suggests that NDR suspensions are disproportionately imposed on low-income and racial and ethnic minority drivers who are already more likely to face other barriers to care. In an editorial published in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers from CIRP and Brown University School of Public Health explain the impact of a suspended license on access to health care and what must be addressed to improve transportation equity in this area.

Read a blog post about the editorial.

Authors: Nina R. Joyce, PhD; Andrew R. Zullo, PharmD, MPH; Jasjit S. Ahluwalia, MD; Melissa R. Pfeiffer, MPH; Allison E. Curry, PhD; Funding: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Academic Affiliations in Health Services Research and Development; National Institute on Aging; Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Development; Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence

Transportation and Access to Health Care

CIRP researchers are partnering with researchers from Brown University School of Public Health to address barriers to reliable transportation for improving health outcomes and reducing health disparities.The researchers believe that a non-driving-related driver’s license suspension represents a barrier to care that may result in preventable hospital admissions and that black and hispanic drivers and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds may suffer the most. To address this transportation equity issue, they aim to establish the prevalence of non-driving-related (NDR) license suspensions by individual- and systems-level factors and to determine the impact of these suspensions on health care utilization, particularly in communities already facing other barriers to accessing health care and transportation

Principal Investigators: Nina R. Joyce, PhD; Allison E. Curry, PhD, MPH; Funding: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (RO3); Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Development