Fellowship for Lauren Roach: Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program (DDETFP) Graduate Fellowship

Grants and Contracts Details


Title The association between early life disadvantage and engagement of risky driving behavior Abstract Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injury and death for drivers across the lifespan. Fatal crashes have been increasing in Kentucky in recent years, despite less motor vehicle travel during pandemic lockdowns. Kentucky is unique to many other states in that a disproportionately high percentage of its population is subjected to early life disadvantage (e.g., family financial insecurity, abuse), making it one of the top 10 worst states for early life adversity and disadvantage. It’s also unique to other states because of its burdensome social determinants of health (SDoH) profile. Unknown is how early life disadvantage may predispose individuals to engage in risky driving behaviors, and the extent to which early life disadvantage exacerbates disparities attributed to SDoH, also contributing to risky driving behaviors. The purpose of this study is to use engineering, health equity, and gerontology to understand how early life disadvantage and SDoH contribute to risky driver behaviors and crash risk across the lifespan. Specifically, we will examine community-level indicators and individuals’ lived experience to understand how interactions between the individual, their social and environmental context, and roadway characteristics influence crash risk and risk-taking behaviors behind the wheel. The impact of my research will help contribute to the improvement of state resource allocation to help vulnerable road users and communities avoid engagement in risky driving behaviors, thereby reducing injury and fatality from serious crashes on Kentucky roadways. This includes identifying communities in need of support, identifying safety countermeasures, and facilitating the allocation of resources and interventions.
Effective start/end date11/28/238/31/24


  • Department of Transportation: $5,000.00


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