3 Units // Meets Tuesday and Thursday 3:30-5 PM in 212 O’Brien
Instructors: David Ragland, PhD, MPH Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC), affiliated with the Institute of Transportation Studies and the School of Public Health
Offer Grembek, PhD (UC Berkeley) Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC), affiliated with the Institute of Transportation Studies and the School of Public Health
Koohong Chung, PhD (UC Berkeley), PE California Department of Transportation,
Course Description: Injuries from traffic crashes are a major cause of death and disability in the United States and around the world. In the United States injury from traffic crashes is the leading cause of death and disability for people ages 1 to 34, and a major cause for all age groups.
The course will examine principles of engineering and behavioral science relevant to preventing traffic collisions and subsequent injury. Human behavior, vehicle design, and roadway design will be considered as interacting approaches to preventing traffic crashes and injuries. Safety of vulnerable road users (primarily pedestrians and bicyclists) will be covered extensively.
New for this Semester: Given the rapid emergence of technology—self-driving vehicles, crash avoidance systems, vehicle-infrastructure integration—we will have a two-week module on the implications for safety (for all modes) of these emerging technologies, with presentations by experts on these topics.
Specific skill sets developed in the class:
(i) Identify crash causal factors (ii) Analyze collision risk in a road network (iii) Identify and evaluate countermeasures (iv) Determine safety implications of self-driving vehicles and other emerging technologies
Class grade will be based on homework assignments (30%), participation (20%), and a research paper (50%). The research paper is often successfully submitted to conferences and journals after the class has ended.
This course is open to students of all academic backgrounds. Undergraduates welcome; please contact instructor for permission.
Injury is the leading cause of death for ages 1-44, and the leading cause of years of potential life lost to age 70, surpassing heart disease and cancer. The general topic of injury is very diverse, including unintentional and intentional injury. The semester will begin with an overview of the field of injury followed by a focus on several specific subject areas, examining current issues within those subject areas. Course activities include discussion based on key readings, web-based and observational assignments, and a paper and presentation at the end of the semester. An extra-unit is available for students who wish to prepare a paper for publication.
Public Health Burden of Injury
Unintentional or intentional damage to the body resulting from acute exposure to thermal, mechanical, electrical, or chemical energy or from the absence of such essentials as heat or oxygen.
Leading cause of death for ages 1-44, and leading cause of potential years of life to age 70, surpassing heart disease and cancer.
Knowledge and understanding of injuries as a major public health problem. (size and scope of the problem, social costs of injury, financial burden to health care system).
Understanding of methods and approaches in injury epidemiology (measuring exposure, risk assessment, models of accidents and injury).
Understanding of current methods and approaches of controlling injuries.(range of methods and approaches, methods for choosing optimal approaches, approaches to implementation, and evaluation).
Topics for Fall Semester 2015
Overview (Definition, scope of the burden of injury, sources of data)
Motor vehicles (leading cause of U.S. injury deaths)
Pedestrian and bicyclist Injury (critical with potential mode shift to walking and biking)
Motorcyclist injury (high risk per mile travelled)
Firearms (2nd leading cause of U.S. injury deaths)
Domestic violence, bullying (physical and psychological injury)
Global impact of injury (traffic injury, injury from military/political conflict)
Each of these topics, in addition to being of great importance in their own right, illustrate the role of data and information in understanding injury as well as the major approaches to injury prevention.
Readings, attendance, and participation in class
Class project: Brief paper on a current injury incident; PowerPoint presentation summarizing the paper. (Optional, one credit): Extended paper in style of publishable manuscript.
SafeTREC faculty and researchers have developed two upper division courses: Public Health 285A Injury Prevention and Control, and Traffic Safety and Injury Control, which is cross-listed as Civil Engineering C265 and Public Health C285.
Injury Prevention and Control is offered in the fall. Traffic Safety and Injury Control is offered in the spring.