Co-Director, Research Strategy and Implementation
Senior Research Associate, HSRC; and
Director, CSCRS; and
Director, Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center
Dr. Laura Sandt was appointed co-director of the University of North Carolina (UNC) Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC), focused on research strategy and implementation, in November 2023. She has been with HSRC since 2004 and is active in a variety of research areas, including the development and evaluation of community-involved health and injury prevention programs and studies focusing on pedestrian and bicycle safety, mobility, and access.
Laura serves as co-director for the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, a federal clearinghouse that provides leadership and technical guidance to communities across the US. She also serves as director for the Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety, a National University Transportation Center funded in 2016 by the U.S. Department of Transportation. In this role, she has oversight responsibilities for the Center, whose mission is to advance transportation safety through a multidisciplinary, systems-based approach.
She has been involved in the development of several seminal Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) resources, including the Pedestrian Road Safety Audit Guidelines and Prompt Lists, the guide How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, Countermeasures that Work: 7th Edition, and a toolkit for community members, A Resident’s Guide for Creating Safer Communities for Walking and Biking. She has also led projects working directly with states and local communities to develop, implement, and evaluate programs aimed at improving pedestrian and bicycle safety and access to affordable travel options and health opportunities.
Dr. Sandt has served as Principal Investigator on several cooperative research projects, including the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) projects 17-73 (Report 893), which developed guidance for performing systemic pedestrian safety analysis, and 20-112 (Report 932), which produced a roadmap for research at the nexus of transportation and public health.
Laura has a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, with a concentration in injury prevention. She also holds an M.R.P. from UNC-Chapel Hill with a concentration in transportation and land use. Her undergraduate degree is from Texas A&M University. Laura is an active member of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the Road to Zero Coalition, and the Transportation Research Board, serving as former Chair of the Pedestrians Committee (ACH10), and co-chair of the Subcommittee on Automated Vehicles, Pedestrian, and Bicycle Interaction.