The UAB TRIP (Translational Research for Injury Prevention) Lab, established in 2009 by Dr. Despina Stavrinos, is committed to gaining a better understanding of the psychological aspects of transportation-related injury through multi-disciplinary research and translating those findings to the practice of injury prevention and control. Investigation of distraction as a major risk factor for motor vehicle crashes and other transportation-related injury is key to our work; current topics of research include the effects of ADHD on driving behavior, traumatic brain injury and its impact on driving safety, and a longitudinal study of adolescent driving attention as it relates to cognitive development and driving experience.
The TRIP Lab houses a fully immersive, state-of-the-art driving simulator with functional driver controls, realistic graphics, and haptic feedback. The simulator’s software is completely customizable to meet a wide variety of research and educational needs; in addition to our own research, we also make our simulator available to outside groups for training, assessment, and tours. We are happy to share our knowledge, experience, and resources! The TRIP Lab’s unique simulator has been featured in many news outlets, including The Today Show and CNN.
You don’t have to visit our UAB lab for a simulated driving experience. The UAB TRIP Lab places key focus on community outreach, traveling to Alabama schools and community events with a portable driving simulator to provide education on the dangers of distracted driving. This life-like training tool allows student drivers and others to get behind the wheel in a realistic, but safe environment: while “driving,” hazards and distractions arise, allowing participants to experience in real time how difficult it is to adjust and react appropriately when their attention is divided.
In providing these events, the TRIP Lab frequently partners with the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham (RPC), ALDOT, law enforcement, and other concerned Alabamians who are making a coordinated effort to save young people from injury or death due to unsafe driving behaviors.