Dr. Romano is a Senior Research Scientist with a tenure of 22 years at PIRE. An economist by training, his research interests have focused on risk-related behaviors as well as on the analyses of risk-reduction and risk-management policies. He has collaborated on the development of models to estimate the incidence and cost of intentional and unintentional injuries as well as on a simulation program (“SymSmoke PIRE”), that models the impact of a variety of risk-reduction policies on smoking-related diseases.
His interest in injuries and risk-related policies motivated Dr. Romano to conduct research on the risks associated with impaired driving. He has been conducting research and publishing on the role played by alcohol and other drugs on crash risk. He was involved in the analysis of the 2007 and 2013-2014 National Roadside Surveys and the design and analysis of the 2011-2012 Drug Crash Risk study (Lacey, PI). Further, he has been awarded grants by the NIH to investigate the role of race/ethnicity on alcohol-related fatal crashes (funded by NIAAA), as well as on the changing role of female drivers in the US (funded by NICHD).
Also funded by the NIAAA, Dr. Romano has published on the impact of Graduate Driving License laws on reducing crashes among teenagers and on the effectiveness of child endangerment laws to promote safety among children riding with drinking adults. He was also funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to develop a simulation model to investigate and predict the impact of traffic-related laws and policies on underage drinking and driving (SimDWI).
The limited reduction in child passenger fatalities by adult drinking drivers inspired Dr. Romano to examine U.S. child endangerment policies and assess their effectiveness. In a series of publications, Dr. Romano and colleagues examined whether driving-under-the-influence – child endangerment (DUI-CE) laws impact the prevalence of fatally injured child passengers in motor vehicle crashes with an alcohol-impaired adult driver. Recently, has been funded by the NIAAA to establish a collaboration with MADD to keep moving the research forward.
Dr. Romano is currently the PI on two NIAAA-funded projects. He is the PI of a longitudinal study in northern New York State following DWI convicted offenders on and off an alcohol ignition interlock device. The overall aim of this project is to learn about DWI offenders’ behaviors and design interventions that would reduce DWI recidivism on/off the interlock. He is also the PI of a longitudinal study following recent (within a year of arrival) Latino immigrants to Miami/Dade County (FL) to learn about mechanisms that would induce them to avoid paths towards impaired driving and/or riding with an impaired driving.
Dr. Romano was a member of the PIRE Board of Directors (2013–2016) and has been a member of the PIRE Institutional Review Board (since 2008). Outside of PIRE, he is an adjunct professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he lectures on issues involving sleep deprivation and impaired driving (Advanced Topics in Impaired Driving Research—HLTH 688D), He is also a member of the Transportation Research Board’s Committee on Women’s Issues in Transportation (ABE70) and the TRB Impairment in Transportation Committee (ACS50). He also served as a grant reviewer for: NIAAA (epidemiology, prevention, and behavior research review subcommittee, AA2, Standing reviewer, 2010–2014; Special Emphasis Panel/Scientific Review Group 2016/01, ZAA1 DD—Chairperson) and CDC (Special Emphasis Panel/Scientific Review Group, 2017). Dr. Romano is a member of the panel of advisors to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). He also has been serving in an advisory capacity to the TRB Behavioral Traffic Safety Cooperative Research Program (BTSCRP) since 2018.
Vaca, F. E., Li, K., Tewahade, S., Fell, J. C., Haynie, D. L., Simons-Morton, B. G., & Romano, E. (2020). Factors contributing to delay in driving licensure among U.S. high school students and young adults. Journal of Adolescent Health. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2020.05.003
Romano, E., Kelley-Baker, T., Hoff, S., Eichelberger, A. H., & Ramirez, A. (2019). Use of alcohol and cannabis among adults driving children in Washington State. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 80(2), 196-200. PMCID: PMC6489546. https://doi.org/10.15288/jsad.2019.80.196
Romano, E., Moore, C., Kelley-Baker, T., & Torres-Saavedra, P. A. (2019). The utility of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) measures obtained from oral fluid samples in traffic safety. Traffic Injury Prevention, 20(7), 667-672. https://doi.org/10.1080/15389588.2019.1635690
Hultgren, B., Turrisi, R., Mallett, K., Ackerman, S., Larimer, M., McCarthy, D., & Romano, E. (2018). A longitudinal examination of decisions to ride and decline rides with drinking drivers. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 42(9), 1748-1755. PMCID: PMC6120778. https://doi.org/10.1111/acer.13818
Romano, E., Sanchez, M., De La Rosa, M., & Ertman, B. (2017). Determinants of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs among Latino immigrants in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse, 18(3), 359-373. PMCID: PMC6115294. https://doi.org/10.1080/15332640.2017.1371655