Texas Teen Survey Reveals Shift in Impaired-Driving Cause
In 2012 — for the first time since its creation more than 20 years ago — the Texas Secondary School Survey found that more high school seniors reported driving drug impaired than those who reported driving alcohol impaired.
The survey has been conducted in Texas since 1990 and asks students about their use of alcohol and drugs and related behaviors. It is the only survey of its kind that has consistently tracked impaired-driving behaviors by high school students for 22 years. The survey found that while the number of seniors driving after drinking decreased from 29 percent in 1990 to 15 percent in 2012, 16 percent of respondents reported driving while high from other drugs.
TTI’s peer-to-peer-based U in the Driver Seat program aims to combat impaired driving in college students. “It is a widely known truth that high school seniors bring a lot of their established habits and behaviors with them to college,” says Russell Henk, U in the Driver Seat director. “As these students make this transition, the choices they make are (more so than ever before) ultimately up to them. A combination of awareness and positive peer pressure can help influence their decision-making.”
Carlson Attends FHWA Visibility Workshop
TTI Senior Research Engineer Paul Carlson recently attended the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) workshop, entitled Breakthroughs in Vision and Visibility for Highway Safety, held Aug. 13–14. According to Carlson, the workshop was a good opportunity for top visibility researchers to share information and assist FHWA in prioritizing needs. Carlson and his peers focused on revising the visibility roadmap, which is a tool FHWA has used in the past to prioritize research needs.
“This workshop was a great opportunity for top researchers to offer suggestions to FHWA on how to prioritize what they should focus on in the future,” says Carlson. “It was also a great opportunity as a researcher to collaborate with peers and develop cross-cutting ideas.”
Fitzpatrick Receives Marsh Award for Distinguished Service
After 30 years of service, the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) honored TTI Senior Research Engineer Kay Fitzpatrick with the Burton W. Marsh Distinguished Service Award during its Annual Meeting and Exhibit in August. The award recognizes an individual who has contributed to ITE’s advancement. Fitzpatrick joined ITE in 1983 and has been a member of (or chaired) numerous committees. And she has contributed to more than 35 articles in the ITE Journal and the ITE Compendium.
“Being selected for the Marsh Award was a pleasant surprise for me,” Fitzpatrick says. “The group attracts those that are dedicated to and interested in improving the transportation network.”