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News

2012

Higher ed at the Fair: From Tommie Totes to the U's Gridlock Buster
MinnPost, August 29, 2012
On the other end of the scale, the University of Minnesota occupies eight different fairground locations, from which it hosts a seemingly endless series of events designed to engage an even broader audience. "If you're interested in transportation, we will have our Center for Transportation Studies experts on hand, [with] a game called Distraction Dodger or Gridlock Buster to better familiarize Minnesotans with the effects of playing with your cell phone in your car or trying to text," according to Jason Rohloff, special assistant to the president for government and community relations.

Distracted-driving video game aims to teach teens
WCCO 4 TV News, August 28, 2012
The State Fair is the perfect place to talk about distracted driving. Whether you’re in a golf cart or a car, all of your focus has to be on the road, which is often filled with people. Now the University of Minnesota hopes a new video game will hit the point home to young drivers. To see how the game works, watch the video. 

HumanFIRST Program partnership develops Safe Teen Car System
Researchers from the HumanFIRST Program at the University of Minnesota's ITS Institute and the private research company Westat have developed a prototype system for new cars. It's called the Safe Teen Car System, and it actually gives teens feedback to help them develop safer driving habits. Sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the project is an extension of a national focus on teen driving safety.

Distraction Dodger premieres at Teen Safe Driving Summit
Distraction Dodger, an online game developed by the ITS Institute, premiered at the 4th Annual Teen Safe Driving Summit on Thursday, February 2, at the Rosemount Community Center. The game, designed to help teens and young adults understand the importance of concentrating on driving, has already received attention with an award at the 2011 International Serious Play Conference.

2011

Good Question: Are cell phones the most distracting?
WCCO-TV, December 13, 2011
The National Transportation Safety Board wants every state to ban all cell phones used by drivers—no texting, no talking, not even hands-free. But are cell phones more distracting than any of the other distractions inside our cars? According to ITS Institute Director Max Donath, crash statistics indicate that there is a problem. "The issue really is there are so many more people using their smartphones, there’s so many people who think they can get away with texting," he said. "More drivers are exposing themselves to this particular distracting behavior, which is why we're seeing so many problems."

2010

Using tech to curb deaths on Minnesota's roadways
Minnesota Public Radio, August 10, 2010
ITS Institute Director Max Donath and HumanFIRST Director Mike Manser discuss a range of technologies that save lives on the road, from digital maps and devices that keep drivers from drifting out of their lane to phones that alert parents if a young driver is violating Minnesota's graduated driver's license rules by being out too late or having too many passengers in the car. Seat belts are a crucial safety technology, as well.

U turns to technology to aid teen drivers and their parents
Star Tribune, May 1, 2010
U of M researchers are hoping intervention technology will make teenagers better drivers. The Teen Driver Support System goes well beyond seat belts and cell phones.

2009

Drivers and their toys: Unsafe at any speed?
Star Tribune, September 30, 2009
Federal officials, transportation experts, and academics are convening in Washington, D.C., for a first-ever summit on how to combat distracted driving.... "This is not a new topic," said Michael Manser, who's attending the Washington summit in his role as director of the HumanFIRST program at the U's Intelligent Transportation Systems Institute.

2008

Newest Source of Teen Ire: Webcams in Their Cars
Washington Post, October 24, 2008
Maryland study involving webcams for teen drivers yields similar results to a prior Minneapolis study.

Motorcycles and alcohol: Research examines a dangerous combination
CTS Research E-News, September 2008
This summer, with gas prices at an all-time high and warm weather beckoning riders to hit the road, motorcycles and scooters are more popular than ever.

Sleepy driver takes a test drive
KMSP-TV Fox 9 News, May 21, 2008
Using the University of Minnesota HumanFIRST virtual driving simulator, researchers can monitor how a sleepy driver isn't able to drive safely.

2007

Study: Rural Minnesota Drivers Take More Risks Than Urban Drivers
Fox 9 News, December 18, 2007
Rural drivers -- especially pickup drivers -- have more relaxed attitudes toward safety on the road, according to a new University of Minnesota study.

U of M testimony before MN Senate Transportation Committee
Minnesota Senate, Finance Transportation Budget and Policy Division Committee Hearing, January 30, 2007

2006

Minnesota Medicine article on reducing fatal crashes features ITS Institute experts, technology
Minnesota Medicine, May 2006

Teen driving research featured on Fox 9 News
KMSP Fox 9 News, February 27, 2006

2005

Inside ITS article highlights Minnesota's Toward Zero Deaths program
Inside ITS, 2005

'U' research on driving hits new gear
Star Tribune, September 10, 2005

Driver distraction and cell phone research featured in news media
April 2005