Monday, January 25, 2016

Daniel McGehee, director of the Transportation and Vehicle Safety Research Program at the UI Public Policy Center, will deliver a lunch presentation at the Washington Press Club as part of the Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) meeting on Jan. 27.

McGehee will discuss research conducted on vehicle safety technologies and driver awareness of those technologies, including details of the MyCarDoesWhat national education campaign intended to inform drivers about the potentially life-saving technologies available to them.

The UI Public Policy Center is leading the overall project and collaborating with the National Safety Council. The three-year project formally launched this fall in Washington, DC with US DOT secretary Anthony Foxx and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind. It includes basic research automotive safety technology and national surveys on consumer understanding of most technologies available today and in the future. A national survey conducted at the UI found that a majority of consumers had heard of, been exposed to, or interacted with at least one vehicle safety feature, but expressed uncertainty about all of the technologies.

The campaign includes academic and consumer research, videos, graphics, animation, social media, games, advertising, and demonstrations to educate drivers and stakeholders on several technologies covered in the study, including:

  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Anti-lock braking systems
  • Back-up cameras
  • Back-up warning systems
  • Blind spot alert systems
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Forward collision warning systems
  • Lane departure warning systems
  • Tire pressure monitoring systems

McGehee has studied car crashes for over 25 years. His research in driver performance, distraction, and technology development research has led to innovative, interdisciplinary collaborations involving engineering, medicine, and public health. Results from his research have helped policy makers improve government safety standards, as well as state and federal laws. While the first generation of safety systems were designed to help protect occupants in cars, McGehee’s research deals with preventing or reducing the severity of crashes, which will reduce fatalities.

The Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) serves to improve communication between automotive journalists in the Baltimore-Washington area and the automotive industry, regulators, and other related groups.

The Public Policy Center (PPC) is an interdisciplinary academic research center in the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) that investigates the most important issues affecting daily life. Its research is focused on state, national and international policy issues. It also assists researchers across campus with their studies and serves to bring the resources and expertise of the University to policy makers and the public.