Our organization experienced a lot of growth and advancement in 2018. We had over 160 attendees at our last conference (a 10-year record high), received 74 abstract submissions, and increased our membership to over 320. We are moving full steam ahead for 2019. We continue to provide our members with opportunities to engage and connect with their peers, as well as the organization. We encourage members to participate in our committees, Special Interest Groups, programs, and activities as we continue our open approach to member engagement and involvement. As an organization, we have called for leadership and involvement in AAAM and our volunteers have answered that call at a resounding rate.
Our Special Interest Groups have been working diligently with the SPC (Scientific Planning Committee) to develop special sessions in their content areas of Road Safety in Low and Middle-Income Countries and Automated Vehicles. Both SIGs held their first meetings via conference call in February. If you would like to participate in these groups, please let their leaders or our executive director, Katie Keel know. The SIGs are led by Aditya Belwadi, PhD for the Automated Vehicles group or Brian Fildes, PhD for the Road Safety in Low- and Middle-Income Countries group. Tasks include special sessions at the annual conference, new position statements in areas of interest, and webinar offerings. Please contact us with your interest.
We’re excited about this year’s conference, to be held in Madrid, Spain from 15 – 18 of October. The theme is Safety without Borders. A call for full-length paper abstracts was sent out at the end of 2018, and we are off to a great start with 72 abstracts submitted versus 49 submitted last year. There is still an opportunity to submit your research for the 2019 Annual conference. We are now accepting short communications and poster abstracts and student symposium abstracts. The deadline is April 12 for both!
The Policy Committee’s new position statement on Unattended Child Reminder Systems is in the works and will be released this year. Heatstroke is the number one cause of non-crash vehicle-related deaths for children under age 14. AAAM recommends that the United States and all countries encourage the development and widespread use of unattended child reminder systems and associated technology to reduce the occurrence of heat stress, heat stroke and other thermal injuries to children in vehicles. The committee has received feedback from the Board of Directors. Be on the lookout for the statement for an organizational vote due by March 31. We thank you in advance for your support of this important position statement.
Thank you for your support of and involvement in AAAM. You’ve been key to the success of our activities and plans for 2019. I encourage you to stay engaged, working together to advance the activities that are the heartbeat of this organization. If you know of colleagues who share your interest in the work that AAAM is doing, we encourage you to invite them to become a member.
As we increase transparency and engagement with our community of professionals, I want to hear from you. If you have any ideas for ways to move this organization forward or feedback to improve upon our processes, please email me.