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Center for Injury Research and Policy

Transportation Safety

child getting buckled into car seat by mom

Our Center addresses the continued challenges posed by motor vehicles. 

We focus on novice teen drivers and older adult drivers, whose injury risks on the road are especially high, improvements to road safety through design changes to streets and sidewalks, and strategies that promote safe active modes of travel.  Our transportation safety work is also increasingly directed toward the advent of autonomous vehicles and the unique policy, ethical, and educational challenges they pose.

young boy putting on his bike helmet, smilingMotor vehicle crashes continue to cause injuries and deaths on U.S. roadways at unacceptably high rates. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s projections for traffic fatalities in 2017 show that an estimated 37,150 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes. But the Center’s journey to improve transportation safety is ceaseless.

The Center also continues to address the challenges posed by novice teen drivers, whose crash risk is especially high. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the fatal crash rate per mile driven for 16 to 19-year-olds is nearly 3 times the rate for drivers 20 years and older.

Our Work in Action

The Future of Personal Transportation

The Center and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, convened a first-of-its-kind gathering in December 2017 to focus public attention on the deployment of autonomous vehicle technology in ways that will provide the greatest social benefits.

Event webcast


Youth Driver Safety

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among U.S. adolescents. These rates are highest in the first year of independent driving

Pedestrian crosswalk button next to busy streetResearch at the Center indicates that practice on a diversity of roadways during the learner stage is protective against serious crashes during the first year of independent driving. However, current driver licensing and training requirements do not require adolescents to practice under these conditions. Almost every U.S. states’ Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) systems include the requirement for adolescents to practice driving for a minimum number of hours (60 hours in Maryland, for example), but they could be strengthened by specifying the nature of the practice that should be acquired.

Promising evidence shows how simple modifications to the practice driving that adolescents experience during the learning stage can significantly reduce crash risk during the first year of independent driving

For more information, contact Johnathon P. Ehsani, Department of Health Policy and Management.

Success Story

Child Car Seat Safety

Laticia Cannon first visited the Children’s Safety Center at the referral of her son Mica’s pediatrician. The Children’s Safety Center is a partnership between the Center and the Johns Hopkins Department of Pediatrics. A health educator conducted a personalized injury risk assessment and provided Laticia with a referral to the Baltimore City Fire Department for free smoke alarms. Laticia then returned to the safety center for a car seat appropriate for Mica’s age and weight, as well as instructions on how to use it correctly.

Her visits to the center proved to be lifesaving. Laticia and Mica were in a car crash and Mica survived with no injuries.

Laticia continued to visit the Children's Safety Center to replace Mica’s car seat as he grew, to buy him a bicycle helmet and to get an infant car seat for his baby sister. This young mother, like thousands of others who have visited the facility, has been able to provide her children with the best in safety practices and products.

Parents and caregivers looking for assistance with car seats, please visit our Resource Library. For more information about the Children's Safety Center and our Center's model Safety Center program, visit the Home Safety page.