Robert Foss, Ph.D.

Senior Research Scientist

Rob’s research the past 20 years has focused primarily on factors contributing to the high crash rates of teenage drivers and the role of alcohol in transportation-related injury. He focuses on behavioral, social, and cultural contributors to traffic safety. He and his colleagues concentrate on developing programs and social policies to improve transportation safety for young people. Rob worked with North Carolina legislators to implement graduated driver licensing in North Carolina. He and his colleagues have helped traffic safety professionals and policy-makers in numerous other states to follow North Carolina in adopting this ground-breaking new approach to young driver safety. Throughout his career he has worked extensively with community groups, statewide organizations and national leaders to design, implement and evaluate efforts to improve travel safety for all ages, but especially children and adolescents. Rob is Chair of the Transportation Research Board Subcommittee on Young Drivers.


Arthur Goodwin, M.A.

Senior Research Associate

Arthur Goodwin’s research interests and experience include young driver safety, distracted driving, motorcycle safety, and alcohol-impaired driving. Arthur’s recent work has focused on finding ways to help parents with the responsibility of supervising new teen drivers. He led a ground-breaking study that used in-vehicle cameras and semi-structured interviews to learn how parents supervise their teens, and to determine where they are struggling and need assistance. Based on the study findings, his research team developed an interactive program that stresses the importance of practice and helps parents recognize and share their deep understanding of driving with their teen. Arthur also led a team to develop a smartphone app called Time to Drive to assist parents with the learning-to-drive process. In addition to his work with parents, Arthur has examined teen compliance with GDL restrictions – finding it to be higher than most people assume – and the effect of North Carolina’s cell phone restriction on talking and texting among teen drivers. Arthur is lead author of the Guide for Reducing Young Driver Crashes. He also supervises and edits biennial update of NHTSA’s Countermeasures that Work. He is a member of the Transportation Research Board Subcommittee on Young Drivers and the Committee on Operator Education and Regulation, and is a member of the North Carolina Driver Education Advisory Committee.


Natalie O’Brien, M.S.

Research Associate

Natalie O’Brien’s research focuses primarily on identifying effective policies and programs to reduce the high crash rates among teen drivers. She has worked on numerous projects related to graduated driver licensing (GDL). Specifically, she has worked on projects to examine the role of parental involvement in supervising teen driving, the effectiveness of various GDL provisions, and how states can increase their capacity to implement stronger GDL policies. Most recently she has begun to examine the effectiveness of an advanced driver training program in North Carolina. She is a member of the Transportation Research Board Committee on Operator Education and Regulation and edits the biennial update of the Young Driver Chapter of NHTSA’s Countermeasures that Work.


Stephanie Harrell, M.A.

Social/Clinical Research Assistant

Stephanie Harrell’s research interests include the role of parents during the supervisory period of the GDL process and how parents communicate with their teens as they practice. She has been involved in development of a smartphone app, Time to Drive, to assist parents with this process. Additionally, Stephanie is currently working on a project to provide guidance to parents for supervising teens during the learner license period. She is also working on a project to measure the effectiveness of an advanced driver training program.