Dr Bruce Simons-Morton, Senior Investigator, National Institutes of Health

Dr. Simons-Morton’s career has included distinguished contributions to academia, public health, and research.

As Professor of Behavioral Science at the University of Texas School of Public Health he developed the MATCH framework for the systematic development of effective prevention programmes, taught behavior change theory and health promotion practice methods to graduate students, and lead a programme of research on child and adolescent health behavior.

At the National Institutes of Health, where he has served as a senior investigator since 1993, he was Chief of the Health Behavior Branch and then Associate Director for Prevention Research at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

For the past 20 years much of his research has examined the characteristics of and variability in young driver risk (including inexperience, 2ndtask engagement and other risky driving behaviour, and passenger influences), how novices learn to drive safely (eventually), and the efficacy of prevention programmes for young drivers.

His innovative research on driving has included observational, survey, simulation, naturalistic and experimental studies. He is the author of over 300 scientific publications, books, book chapters and editorials.

Presentation: Improving prevention effectiveness by understanding how novices learn to drive safely
The extremely high crash rate immediately after licensure and prolonged period of decline has given rise to many prevention approaches and programmes. While well-intentioned and intuitive, many of these efforts are not based on known risk factors and lack evidence of effectiveness.

While there is no 'magic' solution, there is evidence that some prevention program contribute meaningfully when fully adopted and well administered. This presentation describes known risk factors, evidence for the effectiveness of promising programs, and suggests how prevention efforts could be more effective through thoughtful modifications based on a modern understanding of how novices eventually learn to drive safely.