Forum: Safety, Mobility, and Aging Drivers

Panelist Biographies

Thomas K Broberg, Volvo Car Corporation

Thomas Broberg is currently a senior technical advisor for safety for Volvo Car Corporation. He has been on the management team at Volvo Cars Safety Centre since 1999 and has held various positions, including deputy director from 2003–2006. Volvo’s crash laboratory is the most advanced in the world, featuring both a fixed and a movable test track, which can be combined to recreate collisions with different impacts, angles, and speeds. Mr. Broberg holds two patents for Volvo Car Corporation, including one for City Safety, an active safety system that responds to the driving environment even when the driver does not. Mr. Broberg holds an MS in mechanical engineering from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. He is currently pursuing his doctorate at Chalmers, focusing on safety for an aging population. - Back to Top of Page

Joseph F. Coughlin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab

Joseph F. Coughlin, PhD is Director of the US Department of Transportation’s New England University Transportation Center. Based within MIT’s Center for Transportation & Logistics, he is founder of the MIT AgeLab conducting research on the impact of aging on automobile design and public policy. He has served on Daimler’s Technology Advisory Board and worked extensively with BMW, Fiat, Nissan, and Volkswagen as well as numerous insurance companies in North America and Europe. He chaired the OECD’s task force on new transportation technologies and older users. In 2005, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to the White House Advisory Committee on Aging. A Fellow of both Switzerland’s World Demographics & Ageing Forum and the Gerontological Society of America, he is co-editor with MIT’s Lisa D’Ambrosio – Aging America & Transportation in 2021: Personal Choices and Public Policy (forthcoming Springer, Winter 2010). He produces the online publication  - Back to Top of Page

Ann Dellinger, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Ann M. Dellinger, PhD, MPH, is an epidemiologist and team leader for the motor vehicle injury prevention team at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Dr. Dellinger conducts research in motor vehicle safety, focusing on older drivers, child occupant and pedestrian injury, global road safety, and injury risk behavior. She began her career at CDC in the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS). Among other EIS assignments, she served as a consultant to the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles for study of the risk of traffic crashes due to medical conditions. Dr. Dellinger received a BS in biology from the University of San Diego. She received her masters degree (health promotion) from the Graduate School of Public Health at San Diego University and her doctorate in epidemiology from the University of California at Los Angeles.  - Back to Top of Page

Bonnie Dobbs, University of Alberta

Bonnie Dobbs, PhD, directs the Medically At-Risk Driver Centre and research programs within the Division of Care of the Elderly, both under the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta. She is a Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry. Dr. Dobbs has a BA in psychology and a PhD in gerontology, with specialization in psychology, human ecology, and medicine, both from the University of Alberta. Her primary research interests include the effects of medical conditions on driving competence, the development of tools to identify medically at-risk drivers, the consequences of driving cessation for medically impaired older drivers and their families, and the role of alternate transportation in maintaining the mobility and independence of medically at-risk drivers. Her book Medical Conditions and Driving A Review of the Literature (1960-2000) served as the scientific basis for the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s and the American Medical Association’s physician guidelines for assessing and evaluating medically at-risk drivers. Dr. Dobbs has served on panels, in a consulting role for licensing authority and medical association physician guideline development both in Canada and the United States, and as an expert witness concerning medical impairments and driving. - Back to Top of Page

David W. Eby, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute

David W. Eby, PhD, is a research scientist and head of behavioral sciences at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI). Dr. Eby's topics of research include driving and dementia, older driver decision making, risky behaviors among young drivers, use and nonuse of safety restraints, impaired and distracted driving, and use of in-vehicle technology to enhance safety and mobility. He has been principal investigator on more than 50 projects and has authored more than 200 scholarly publications, including coauthoring Maintaining Safe Mobility in an Aging Society. Dr. Eby holds a doctorate in experimental psychology from the University of California at Santa Barbara and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Cognitive Sciences at the University of California at Irvine. Dr. Eby is an associate editor of Accident Analysis & Prevention, a former convener of the transportation and aging interest group of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), and a GSA fellow. He is also the director of the Michigan Center for Advancing Safe Transportation throughout the Lifespan.  - Back to Top of Page

Richard Kent, University of Virginia

Richard Kent, PhD, is a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of Virginia (UVA), with additional appointments in biomedical engineering and emergency medicine. He is also head of automobile safety research at the UVA Center for Applied Biomechanics. His area of research is the biomechanics of trauma, particularly in the automotive crash environment.  Dr. Kent has published extensively on the biomechanics of aging and on the circumstances of crashes involving older drivers. For his work on the development of restraint systems for older drivers, in 2004, Dr. Kent was named to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s TR100 list as one of 100 people under the age of 35 whose contributions to emerging technologies are “poised to profoundly influence our world.” - Back to Top of Page

Arthur Kramer, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Arthur Krameris the Director of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and the Swanlund Chair and Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Illinois.   He received his Ph.D. in Cognitive/Experimental Psychology from the University of Illinois in 1984. He holds appointments in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience program, and the Beckman Institute. Professor Kramer’s research projects include topics in Cognitive Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Development, and Human Factors.  A major focus of his labs recent research is the understanding and enhancement of cognitive and neural plasticity across the lifespan.  He was the Director of the University of Illinois’s Biomedical Imaging Center from 2004 to 2010 and Co-Director of the NIH Roybal Center for Healthy Minds from 2002-2008. Professor Kramer served as an Associate Editor of Perception and Psychophysics and is currently a member of seven editorial boards. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, American Psychological Society, a member of the executive committee of the International Society of Attention and Performance, and a recent recipient of a NIH Ten Year MERIT Award. Professor Kramer’s research has been featured in a long list of print, radio and electronic media including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, CBS Evening News, Today Show, NPR and Saturday Night Live. - Back to Top of Page

Anne McCartt, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Anne McCartt, PhD, is Senior Vice President, Research, with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). She has been with the IIHS since 2002. Dr. McCartt has authored more than 150 technical reports and papers on distracted driving, alcohol-impaired driving, large truck safety, young drivers, older drivers, occupant restraints, and other topics. She received her BA from Duke University and her doctorate from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, State University of New York at Albany.  Dr. McCartt recently co-authored a study on the crash trends of older drivers. The analysis found that, contrary to expectations based on increased licensure and travel by older drivers, their fatal crash risk declined during the past decade and declined at a faster rate than for middle-age drivers.  The analysis also suggested that the reduced fatality risk of older drivers reflects both less likelihood of being involved in a police-reported crash and greater likelihood that they will survive when they do crash.   - Back to Top of Page

Richard Marottoli, Yale University

Richard A. Marottoli, MD, is an associate professor of medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine, medical director of the Adler Geriatric Assessment Center at Yale–New Haven Hospital, and a staff physician at the Veterans Administration Connecticut Healthcare System. He received his undergraduate, medical, and public health degrees from Yale University; and completed an internal medicine residency at Strong Memorial Hospital, University of Rochester, and a geriatrics fellowship at Yale. He is a former chair of the Committee on the Safe Mobility of Older Persons of the National Research Council’s Transportation Research Board and a member of the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles Medical Advisory Board. His research interests include enhancing clinicians’ ability to identify individuals at risk for driving difficulties, developing interventions to enhance drivers’ safety, and identifying ways to ease the transition to driving less or not at all when that is necessary. Dr. Marottoli authored the AAA Foundation Report Enhancement of Driver Performance Among Older Drivers, published in 2007, and was been involved in the development of the America Medical Association/National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Physicians Guide to Assessing and Counseling Older Drivers. - Back to Top of Page

Lisa J. Molnar, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute

Lisa J. Molnar is a lead research associate in the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute’s (UMTRI) Behavioral Sciences Group. She joined UMTRI in 1986, and her primary areas of interest are traffic safety and driver behavior. Ms. Molnar has worked on a variety of projects focusing on adolescent driving behavior; older driver safety and mobility; development and evaluation of traffic safety laws, policies, and programs; prevention of alcohol-impaired driving; and use and misuse of safety belts and child safety seats. She has authored more than 75 scientific articles, technical reports, and book chapters and former convener of the Gerontological Society of America’s transportation and aging interest group. She is also the assistant director of the Michigan Center for Advancing Safe Transportation throughout the Lifespan  . Ms. Molnar holds a BA in sociology from Michigan State University and a Master of Health Services Administration in public health policy and administration from the University of Michigan. She is also coauthor of a recent book, Maintaining Safe Mobility in an Aging Society. - Back to Top of Page

Stephen Ridella, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Stephen Ridella is chief of the Human Injury Research Division at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). He joined NHTSA in 2006 after working 20 years in the automotive safety field in the Detroit area. Mr. Ridella began his career at the General Motors Research Labs doing crash injury research before moving on to a project management position at EASi Engineering, coordinating occupant simulation and safety consulting. He then joined TRW Automotive and held a variety of engineering and managerial positions in biomechanics analysis and restraint systems design and performance. He has published extensively on crash data analysis, vehicle and occupant crash simulation techniques, and impact injury research. Mr. Ridella holds bachelors and masters degrees in microbiology and bioengineering, respectively, from the University of Michigan. He also holds an MS in mechanical engineering from Wayne State University and is currently working on his doctorate in collaboration with researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. - Back to Top of Page

Sandra Rosenbloom, University of Arizona

Sandra Rosenbloom, PhD, is a professor of planning, natural renewable resources, gerontology, and women's studies at the University of Arizona. She directed the Roy P. Drachman Institute for Land and Regional Development Studies, a research and public service unit of the university, from 1990–2004. Dr. Rosenbloom has a masters in public policy and a PhD in political science from the University of California at Los Angeles. Prior to moving to the University of Arizona in 1990, she held an endowed chair as the David Bruton Centennial Professor of Urban Design and Planning at the University of Texas, Austin. She is internationally known for her scholarship on the transportation and community development implications of societal trends, particularly suburbanization, the aging of society, the increasing labor force involvement of women with children, and the growth of groups with special needs.  - Back to Top of Page

Stephen Rouhana, Ford Motor Company

As senior technical leader for safety in the Passive Safety Research and Advanced Engineering Department, Stephen Rouhana, PhD, works with Ford’s occupant protection systems design and was instrumental in the development of pediatric crash dummies. He is internationally recognized for pioneering research in the area of human response to impact, particularly with regard to abdominal injuries and air bag noise. Dr. Rouhana, who joined Ford in 2000 after 17 years with General Motors, has led the development of advanced belt systems, including the inflatable belt, in which a small, tubular-shaped inflatable bag can deploy inside a shoulder belt in the event of a crash. He has published research findings on basic biomechanical research, crash test dummy development, and seat belts in more than 70 technical papers in a number of technical journals; has written a chapter on "Biomechanics of Abdominal Trauma," published in 2002 in Accidental Injury: Biomechanics and Prevention; and has received six patents from the U.S. Patent Office and has three patents pending. Dr. Rouhana is an SAE fellow. - Back to Top of Page

Dick Schaffer, Federal Highway Administration

As the aging road user program manager at the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Office of Safety, Dick Schaffer is developing the latest update to the 2001 Highway Design Handbook for Older Drivers and Pedestrians. This work will be completed in calendar year 2011 as will the FHWA Resource Center Aging Road User engineering and roadway design training course. Throughout his 28-year career in multimodal transportation planning, Mr. Schaffer has worked on bicycle/pedestrian, motorcycle, and older road user coordination and planning, traffic management, and transportation improvement planning programs. He is a member of or friend to many committees and task forces, including the Transportation Research Board’s Bicycle Transportation, Transportation in Federal Lands and National Parks, Motorcycle and Scooters, Mobility of Aging Road Users, and Human Factors. Mr. Schaffer has been active in the Institute of Transportation Engineers, where he served as president of the southeast Arizona chapter. He received his MPA in transportation management from the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs and his bachelors degree in geography from the University of Colorado in Boulder. - Back to Top of Page

Elin Schold Davis, American Occupational Therapy Association

Elin Schold Davis has coordinated the American Occupational Therapy Association's (AOTA) Older Driver Initiative since 2003. She is a registered/licensed occupational therapist (OTR/L) and a certified driving rehabilitation specialist (CDRS). She holds a BS in occupational therapy from the University of Minnesota and has been an occupational therapist for 30 years. Since 1982, Ms. Schold Davis has practiced at the Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute in Minneapolis, with a focus on adult rehabilitation. She was involved in creating the renowned Sister Kenny Brain Injury Clinic, which specializes in the assessment and treatment of adults with mild-to-moderate cognitive impairment. For the past 15 years, she has worked to advance the role of occupational therapy in driving rehabilitation, with a primary focus on cognition. Ms. Schold Davis has authored articles and lectured nationally and internationally on the topics of both cognitive rehabilitation and driving. In her current position with AOTA, Ms. Schold Davis manages projects funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and key stakeholders committed to expand occupational therapy capacity in older driver rehabilitation. - Back to Top of Page

Carl Soderstrom, State of Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration

Carl Soderstrom, MD, was appointed Chief of the Medical Advisory Board of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) in 2005 after serving as Associate Chief for three years.  For twenty-five years prior to joining the MVA, Dr. Soderstrom was a member of the Surgery/Traumatology Faculty of the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and a senior researcher at the School’s National Study Center (NSC) for Trauma and EMS.   He is currently Adjunct Professor of Surgery at the University of Maryland and an Associate Faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Health and Policy Management.  Dr. Soderstrom has authored over 100 scientific publications, many of which focus on substance abuse and injury, particularly as related to driving.  His current research efforts center on medical fitness to drive.  Dr. Soderstrom served on and/or testified in many traffic injury prevention efforts; including the Surgeon General’s Work Group on Drunk Driving, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Partners in Progress Work Group, the Driver Fitness Working Group for the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, and the National Transportation Safety Board’s hearing on Medical Oversight of the Non-Commercial Driver.  He has just completed a 2-year term as President of the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine.  In 2009, Dr. Soderstrom was appointed by the Secretary of Transportation to serve on the Medical Review Board of the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration.   This year he joined the NSC’s Crash Injury Research Engineering Network (CIREN) team. Dr. Soderstrom earned his medical degree from the Downstate Medical Center of the State University of New York in Brooklyn, NY.  After completing his general surgery residency at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, he completed a year of Trauma Surgery Fellowship at the Shock Trauma Center of the University of Maryland.  - Back to Top of Page

Loren Staplin, TransAnalytics

Loren Staplin, PhD, is the founder and principal partner of the consulting firm TransAnalytics.  He has worked as a senior research scientist with the Center for Transportation Safety at the Texas Transportation Institute (2002–2003), Vice President for Transportation Safety at the Scientex Corporation (1992–2000), and senior associate with Ketron, Inc. (1982–1992).  Before joining Ketron, Dr. Staplin worked for 3 years at Lehigh University as an assistant professor and research scientist. He has successfully led 25 Federal and State research grants and contracts since the early 1980s.  Dr. Staplin was Principal Investigator for the NHTSA-sponsored project Model Driver Screening and Evaluation Program, which validated a set of functional measures as significant predictors of at-fault crash risk among older drivers.  He led the development of the FHWA Highway Design Handbook for Older Drivers and Pedestrians and is supporting its current update.  He also led development of AAA Roadwise Review, an educational product for self-screening of safe driving abilities by seniors on their home computers.  Dr. Staplin received his doctorate in experimental psychology from Arizona State University in 1979.  He currently serves as Chair of the Committee on Operator Education and Regulation (ANB30) at the Transportation Research Board. - Back to Top of Page

Jane Stutts, University of North Carolina

Jane Stutts, PhD, recently retired from the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center, where she held the position of Associate Director for Social and Behavioral Research.  During her 32-year career at HSRC, Dr. Stutts managed projects for a wide range of public and private sponsors and authored over 100 journal articles and research reports. Her work focused on the behavioral aspects of traffic safety, including older drivers, distracted and drowsy driving, motorcycle safety, bicycle and pedestrian safety, and novice driver education.  At the national level, Dr. Stutts served the Transportation Research Board in a variety of capacities, including committee chair, participation on several national panels, and most recently, chair of the System User’s Group which includes the Committee on Older Person Safety and Mobility.  Since her retirement she has continued to consult in the field, including a recently completed project for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety to develop a database of state driver licensing practices and policies related to older and medically at-risk drivers.  Dr. Stutts received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Wake Forest University and her Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  - Back to Top of Page

Essie Wagner, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Essie Wagner has been working on older driver issues for nineteen years.  Ms. Wagner is a Program Analyst working for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Safety Countermeasures Division on older driver safety programs.  She is responsible for the implementation of the Agency’s older driver program activities, working with organizations including the American Medical Association, the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, the American Society on Aging and other organizations that have an interest in older driver safety.  She received her BA in psychology from the College of Wooster in Ohio and went on to get an MA in Applied Psychology (Human Factors) from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA.  Before joining NHTSA in 1998, she worked for seven years with FHWA, where she conducted and monitored extensive research on older driver issues, including the development of the Older Driver Highway Design Handbook.   - Back to Top of Page

Stewart C. Wang, University of Michigan Trauma Center

Stewart C. Wang, MD, PhD, FACS is Endowed Professor of Surgery and attending trauma surgeon at the University of Michigan Trauma Center, an ACS verified Level I trauma center that has multiple clinical and research collaborations with the University of Michigan Geriatrics Center.  Dr. Wang is the Founding Director of the International Center for Automotive Medicine and also Director of the multidisciplinary Program for Injury Research and Education (UMPIRE).  Dr. Wang is a principal investigator of multiple crash injury research projects and also the founder of a fellowship program that trains automotive engineers to better understand the injury mechanisms so that they can more rapidly improve vehicle design and safety.  Since 2006, Dr. Wang has directed a FHWA/Michigan DOT – funded program to improve crash scene emergency care by training EMS and medical personnel to better predict crash injuries using advanced automatic collision notification data. Dr. Wang is an original member of the CDC-led National Expert Panel on Field Triage, on which he continues to serve.  Dr. Wang’s basic science research has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1990 and he serves on multiple scientific advisory councils. - Back to Top of Page