Greetings Members. We’re looking forward to seeing many of you in Nashville, TN for our annual conference! I am excited to share some highlights of this year’s program. We have a record number of presentations on pre-crash factors, impaired and distracted driving, vehicle safety, injury coding, and injury risk to name a few. Visit our website for a more detailed list. This year, the Scientific Program Committee has worked hard to organize our keynote speakers around the five pillars of road safety that are part of the UN General Assembly’s Decade of Action. We are fortunate to have these thought leaders from around the globe presenting at this year’s conference. Maria Fernanda Rodriguez will present on her foundation’s role in child road safety in Latin America and the Caribbean. Julio Urzua will discuss the 1-5 star rating system to assess road infrastructure. Alejandro Furas will describe how his organization is improving safety vehicle performance. Tom Bishop will speak about his work involving road user behavior, and Teri Reynolds will lead a discussion on the post-crash response. In addition to these phenomenal speakers, we are always looking for ways to educate and engage younger scientists. We continue that tradition this year with the Student Symposium. The SPC has added a student social program following the meeting. Attendees will have the opportunity to have a little fun with mini golf and go-karts! For more information, visit our conference webpage.
This past year we have placed an increased emphasis on member engagement. We have had open calls for all leadership and committee positions for which we need participation. You have probably seen by now that AAAM has launched a brand new Special Interest Groups (SIGs) program. SIGs are chartered by the AAAM Board of Directors to provide members from diverse backgrounds and training with overlapping interest in important areas the opportunity to collaborate and contribute to the activities of AAAM. We currently have two offerings – Automated Vehicles and Road Safety in Low and Middle-Income Countries. For more information, visit our website. Also, the policy committee has revised 7 of 8 of AAAM’s position statements and is considering a few new position statements. AAAM is its members and its activities. We look forward to your continued support of AAAM and invite you to get involved today.
Our membership is growing because of your efforts and it seems our efforts at engagement and focus are cultivating new members. Our membership is on the rise with 10% growth over the first six months of this year. The organization continues to offer new opportunities. In October, AAAM will host a webinar on impaired driving. The focus of discussion will be on the legalization of marijuana and its implications for traffic safety. Topics to be covered include the status of legalization in the US and Canada, behavioral signs of marijuana use, impairment and driving, and crash risk.
I encourage you to continue to engage AAAM on our journey together. We have a wonderful team of dedicated volunteers and staff that keep moving AAAM’s mission forward. In that spirit, I can’t wait to see you in Nashville! Join us as we learn, engage, and share stories from our own experiences.
Joel D. Stitzel, PhD