University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Shannon Roberts

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, College of Engineering, Family Research Scholar, 2018-2019



Shannon Roberts will study teenage driving behaviors to determine what differences exist according to socioeconomic status (SES). She will develop and test an intervention designed to improve teenage driving and use social peer influence to reinforce learning. One objective is to mitigate the health disparity between high and low SES teenagers by reducing crash risks and fatalities.

Shannon Roberts is a trained Human Factors engineer with expertise in studying and evaluating the interaction between humans and systems within the domain of transportation safety. Much of her work is conducted with human participants in the Human Performance Laboratory’s driving simulator. Broadly speaking, her research is focused on three areas: studying and improving young drivers’ behavior, developing feedback and warning systems to improve driving behavior, and examining how advanced technology (e.g., driving automation systems) alters driver behavior. Her recent work examines how demographic variables (e.g., socioeconomic status) affect teenage drivers and how novel social influence techniques can be used to decrease their involvement in traffic crashes.