Dr. Vaca is a Professor and Vice Chair for Faculty Affairs in the Yale School of Medicine's Department of Emergency Medicine. His research has focused on the use of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches to understand developmental, behavioral, and socioecological relationships associated with racial/ethnic disparities in alcohol use disorders and motor vehicle crash-related morbidity and mortality.
Crashes are the leading cause of death for adolescents and young adults. While policy and engineering efforts have been successful in reducing the rates of fatal crashes, many factors (e.g., behavioral, developmental, social, cultural) contribute to the risk of crash injury. Prevention activities and programs need to thoughtfully consider the breath of factors that can contribute to crashes and crash injury disparities among groups of young drivers.