Improvements in motor vehicle safety are among the top ten achievements in public health during the last century, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although vehicle miles traveled has increased over time, the death rate has decreased dramatically. Center research findings demonstrated the significant reduction in crash risks as a result of stringent Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) programs, information that has been used by state policymakers to inform their novice driver policies.
Aviation has been another major research focus, with attention to general (private) aviation, commuters, airlines, helicopters and instructional flights. Research also explores the relationship between airplane crashes and pilot age, flight time and history of DWI. Center research has also addressed other aspects of transportation injury, including case control studies of the relationship of alcohol to boat-related drowning and bicycling deaths. Center faculty were also among the first to demonstrate the safety impact of bicycle helmet laws and related education programs.