AutoCoach 2.0: Making AutoCoach Accessible: A New Mobile App Designed by Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialists for Parents of Teens with Cognitive and Physical Disabilities

Recorded On: 02/26/2018

Teens are a vulnerable population when it comes to driving- as car crashes are the biggest killer of young adults. After nearly a decade of decreasing motor vehicle fatalities, recent crash data indicates a deadly reversal of this trend. To combat this Shepherd Center’s certified driver rehabilitation specialists used their specialized training to create AutoCoach, an innovative app that makes it easier for adults to effectively teach their teens to drive defensively and safely. This year, in partnership with the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and CapTech, Shepherd Center will launch AutoCoach 2.0. This second incarnation of the app will be geared towards parents of teens with both physical and cognitive disabilities. As the leading brain and spinal cord injury hospital in America, Shepherd has a responsibility to not only tackle our number one mechanism of injury, but to focus our injury prevention efforts towards the population that we serve.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will understand the nationwide trends in motor vehicle crashes
  • Participants will understand the scope of fatalities and injuries associated with motor vehicle crashes and how this translates to Shepherd Center’s patients.
  • Participants will learn about the four E’s of prevention- engineering, enforcement, education, and EMS
  • Participants will be able to understand a new plan and pathway for teaching teen driving to teens with cognitive and physical disabilities.

Eligible for 1 contact hour

Dan Allison


Dan Allison is a Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist (CDRS) at Shepherd Center in Atlanta. He had previously worked at the T.K. Martin Center at Mississippi State University; working primarily in the areas of adaptive driving evaluation/training, vehicle modification recommendations, and seating and mobility assessments.  Mr. Allison completed his undergraduate studies at Purdue University. He obtained a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy at Western Michigan University, with an emphasis on disabled driver rehabilitation. Mr. Allison’s research interests include wheelchair transportation/occupant restraint and CDL/Class 8 driver rehabilitation. Mr. Allison is certified by ADED as a CDRS, and RESNA as an ATP (assistive technology professional). Mr. Allison is currently the Past President of ADED: The Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists.

Emma Harrington


Emma Harrington is the Director of Injury Prevention and Education Services at Shepherd Center.  Prior to that, Emma started the Injury Prevention program at Grady Memorial Hospital in the Trauma department. Emma holds a Master of Education in International Education Policy from Harvard University. Originally from Boston, she is a licensed social studies teacher.

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