Adopting a Public Health Approach to Traffic Safety

Under a cooperative agreement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Injury Prevention Research Center and Highway Safety Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are engaged in a five-year project to articulate public health approaches to state and local transportation agencies and provide a variety of resources and examples of processes and applications that agencies can incorporate and use to address disparities and inequities, as well as enhance their community mobilization work in partnership with public health entities.

The project is divided into three phases:

Phase 1. Plan and Co-Create

Activities in this phase include the development of a repository of resources that can be used to inspire and inform public health-transportation collaborations and partnerships across the United States. This phase also includes a research synthesis and needs assessment to identify methods, approaches, and case studies demonstrating success in integrating public health and transportation safety, namely in the areas of coordination, collaboration, programming, and data sharing. This includes examples that explicitly integrate equity and highlight sustainable partnerships. The goal will be to capture exemplary approaches, tools or toolkits, and success stories that could be useful for public health and transportation partnerships.

Phase 2. Spark and Support Cross-Agency Collaboration

Learning from Phase 1, the team will develop a Transportation-Public Health Leadership pilot training program. The pilot program will include processes and set of tools that state and local public health and transportation partners can use when adopting a public health approach to transportation safety. In this phase, the team will recruit regional teams to be a part of the pilot leadership program, design the intensive training and technical assistance program, and develop assessments to evaluate program impacts.

The Pilot Program is actively recruiting program participants. Learn more and register your interest here.

Phase 3. Disseminate, Sustain, and Scale Up

In Phase 3, the team will ensure the webpage resources, pilot program findings, and lessons learned are widely distributed. Based on pilot program findings, the team will investigate opportunities for scaling up and diffusion to continue to support and spark transportation and public health partnerships.

Project Deliverables

Naumann, R., Sandt, L., Booker, N., Keefe, E., Travitz, G., Taylor, N., & Harmon, K. (2023, November). Insights and opportunities for transportation and public health agency collaboration to improve road safety across the U.S. American Public Health Association Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA.

This program is led by the Highway Safety Research Center and Injury Prevention Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and supported by a grant from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.