Bruce Simons-Morton, Ed.D., M.P.H.

Scientist Emeritus

301 496 5674
BG 6710B RM 3166

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During the past three decades as an intramural researcher at NIH, Dr. Bruce Simons-Morton developed research programs focused on adolescent and young adult substance use and driving, for which he received the 2019 NIH Director’s Award for Excellence. This research included the assessment of individual, social, and environmental influences on health behaviors, including substance use and driving. His work on teenage driving includes observational, survey, naturalistic, and experimental studies; his research on adolescent and young adult substance use, impaired driving, and related risk behaviors comprises survey and multilevel intervention trials. His research also has focused on risk assessment and the development and evaluation of effective interventions for driving risk. 

For more than 20 years at NICHD, Dr. Simons-Morton studied aspects of teen driving to examine the social and behavioral nature of driving for this vulnerable group and their families. As the senior investigator of the NEXT Generation Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which followed a nationally representative cohort of 10th graders for 7 years, he led a team that examined the over-time patterns and influences on adolescent and young adult behaviors—including substance use, diet, physical activity, and sleep—and driving, including aggressive and distracted driving, as well as driving or riding while impaired. He has conducted and published numerous literature reviews and state-of-the-science papers and conducted analyses of Fatality Analysis Reporting System data combined with data from the National Household Transportation Survey. This prior research, combined with a national urgency to mitigate these issues, influenced his research focus on impaired driving.

Selected Publications

Factors Influencing Learner Permit Duration
Ehsani JP(1), Li K(2), Grant BJB(3), Gershon P(4), Klauer SG(5), Dingus TA(5), Simons-Morton B(4).
Safety (Basel). 2017;3(1). pii: 2. doi: 10.3390/safety3010002. Epub 2016 Dec 22.

Variability in measures of health and health behavior among emerging adults 1 year after high school according to college status
Simons-Morton B(1), Haynie D(1), O'Brien F(1), Lipsky L(1), Bible J(2), Liu D(2).
J Am Coll Health. 2017 Jan;65(1):58-66. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2016.1238384. Epub 2016 Sep 23.

Do Young Drivers Become Safer After Being Involved in a Collision?
O'Brien F(1)(2), Bible J(1), Liu D(1), Simons-Morton BG(1).
Psychol Sci. 2017 Apr;28(4):407-413. doi: 10.1177/0956797616688118. Epub 2017 Feb 1.

Learning to Drive Safely: Reasonable Expectations and Future Directions for the Learner Period
Simons-Morton B(1), Ehsani JP(2).
Safety (Basel). 2016 Dec;2(4). pii: 20. doi: 10.3390/safety2040020. Epub 2016 Oct 19.

Marijuana-, alcohol-, and drug-impaired driving among emerging adults: Changes from high school to one-year post-high school
Li K(1), Simons-Morton B(2), Gee B(2), Hingson R(3).
J Safety Res. 2016 Sep;58:15-20. doi: 10.1016/j.jsr.2016.05.003. Epub 2016 Jun 7.

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