Motao Zhu, MD, MS, PhD  :: Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

Motao Zhu, MD, MS, PhD

Motao  Zhu, MD, MS, PhD

Contact Information

700 Children's Drive
Columbus, OH 43205 [ map ]
PH: (614) 355-6687
Email Me


Motao Zhu, MD, MS, PhD, is an associate professor of pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University College of Medicine. With doctoral training in epidemiology and medicine, and active research for the past 14 years, Dr. Zhu is well versed in travel behaviors and transportation injuries. He has received multiple NIH and CDC grants to conduct research in cell phone use while driving, teen driving, and traffic policy. He has published in a number of high impact journals, including Epidemiology and American Journal of Preventive Medicine, as well as notable journals in the injury filed, such as Injury Prevention and Accident Analysis and Prevention. He is an editorial board member for the journals Injury Prevention and Injury Epidemiology. He is a member of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Operator Education and Regulation Committee.


  • Male

Languages Spoken:

  • English
  • Chinese

Research Interests

Research Center:

Areas of Interest:

  • Traffic injuries in children, adolescents, and other vulnerable populations
  • Drug and medication involvement in vehicle crash
  • Cell phone use while driving
  • Seatbelt use
  • Self-driving cars
  • Licensing policy for older adults
  • Teen driving and graduated driver licensing laws
  • Pedestrian safety
  • Traffic safety in Appalachia

Research Funding*:

  • Disparities in cell phone law effectiveness across population subgroups and geographic regions , CDC, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
  • Do cell phone laws reduce calling, texting, and crashes among young drivers? , NIH, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
  • Licensing laws, mobility, and traffic safety among older adults , NIH, National Institute on Aging
  • A phone app to reduce cell phone usage among young drivers: a pilot study , NIH, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Education and Training

Graduate School

  • Peking University
    Date Completed: 05/15/1997

Graduate School

  • State University of New York at Albany
    Date Completed: 05/15/2008


  • Center for Injury Research & Policy

Date of Appointment at Nationwide Children’s Hospital:

  • 06/13/2016

Professional Experience


  • Associate Professor of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University College of Medicine


  • Assistant and Associate Professor of Epidemiology, West Virginia University School of Public Health


  • Zhu M, Rudisill TM, Heeringa S, Swedler D, Redelmeier DA. The association between handheld phone bans and the prevalence of handheld phone conversations among young drivers in the United States. Ann Epidemiol. 2016 Dec;26(12):833-837.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2016.10.002. PubMed ID: 27894566
  • Zhu M, Zhao S, Long DL, Curry AE. Association of Graduated Driver Licensing With Driver, Non-Driver, and Total Fatalities Among Adolescents. Am J Prev Med. 2016 Jul;51(1):63-70. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2016.02.024. Epub 2016 Apr 5. PubMed ID: 27067034
  • Zhu M, Zhao S, Long DL. The Association of Graduated Driver Licensing with Nondriver Transport-related Injuries Among Adolescents. Epidemiology. 2016 Sep;27(5):620-3. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000000502. PubMed ID: 27153461
  • Rudisill TM, Zhu M, Kelley GA, Pilkerton C, Rudisill BR. Medication use and the risk of motor vehicle collisions among licensed drivers: A systematic review. Accid Anal Prev. 2016 Nov;96:255-70. PubMed ID: 27569655
  • Rudisill TM, Zhu M, Abate M, Davidov D, Delagarza V, et al. Characterization of drug and alcohol use among senior drivers fatally injured in US motor vehicle collisions, 2008-2012. Traffic Inj Prev. 2016 Nov 16;17(8):788-95. PubMed ID: 27027152
  • Zhu M, Cummings P, Zhao S, Rice T. The association between graduated driver licensing laws and travel behaviors among adolescents: an analysis of US National Household Travel Surveys. BMC Public Health. 2016 Jul 27;16:647. PubMed ID: 27460366
  • Birru H, Rudisill TM, Fabio A, Zhu M. A comparison of self-reported seat belt usage among the Appalachian and non-Appalachian United States. Ann Epidemiol. 2016 Mar;26(3):227-30. PubMed ID: 26924615
  • Rudisill TM, Zhu M, Davidov D, Leann Long D, Sambamoorthi U, et al. Medication use and the risk of motor vehicle collision in West Virginia drivers 65 years of age and older: a case-crossover study. BMC Res Notes. 2016 Mar 15;9:166. PubMed ID: 26979111
  • Erhardt T, Rice T, Troszak L, Zhu M. Motorcycle helmet type and the risk of head injury and neck injury during motorcycle collisions in California. Accid Anal Prev. 2016 Jan;86:23-8. PubMed ID: 26496484
  • Rudisill TM, Zhu M. The association between states' texting regulations and the prevalence of texting while driving among US high school students. Ann Epidemiol. 2015 Dec;25(12):888-93. PubMed ID: 26688117
  • Zhu M, Cummings P, Zhao S, Coben JH, Smith GS. The association of graduated driver licensing with miles driven and fatal crash rates per miles driven among adolescents. Inj Prev. 2015 Apr;21(e1):e23-7. PubMed ID: 24525908
  • Gold JE, Rauscher KJ, Zhu M. A validity study of self-reported daily texting frequency, cell phone characteristics, and texting styles among young adults. BMC Res Notes. 2015 Apr 2;8:120. PubMed ID: 25890089
  • Carter MW, Zhu M, Xiang J, Porell FW. Investigating the long-term consequences of adverse medical events among older adults. Inj Prev. 2014 Dec;20(6):408-15. PubMed ID: 24871958
  • Rudisill TM, Zhao S, Abate MA, Coben JH, Zhu M. Trends in drug use among drivers killed in US traffic crashes, 1999-2010. Accid Anal Prev. 2014 Sep;70:178-87. PubMed ID: 24793428
  • Rice TM, Zhu M. Driver obesity and the risk of fatal injury during traffic collisions. Emerg Med J. 2014 Jan;31(1):9-12. PubMed ID: 23337422
  • Alshaarawy O, Zhu M, Ducatman AM, Conway B, Andrew ME. Urinary polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon biomarkers and diabetes mellitus. Occup Environ Med. 2014 Jun;71(6):437-41. PubMed ID: 24638887
  • Coben JH, Zhu M. Keeping an eye on distracted driving. JAMA. 2013 Mar 6;309(9):877-8. PubMed ID: 23462782
  • Coben J, Zhu M. Dangers of distracted driving--reply. JAMA. 2013 Jun 19;309(23):2436-7. PubMed ID: 23780453
  • Zhu M, Zhao S, Coben JH, Smith GS. Why more male pedestrians die in vehicle-pedestrian collisions than female pedestrians: a decompositional analysis. Inj Prev. 2013 Aug;19(4):227-31. PubMed ID: 23197672
  • Zhu M, Zhao S, Gurka KK, Kandati S, Coben JH. Appalachian versus non-Appalachian US traffic fatalities, 2008-2010. Ann Epidemiol. 2013 Jun;23(6):377-80. PubMed ID: 23619016
  • Zhu M, Cummings P, Chu H, Coben JH, Li G. Graduated driver licensing and motor vehicle crashes involving teenage drivers: an exploratory age-stratified meta-analysis. Inj Prev. 2013 Feb;19(1):49-57. PubMed ID: 23211352
  • Alshaarawy O, Zhu M, Ducatman A, Conway B, Andrew ME. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon biomarkers and serum markers of inflammation A positive association that is more evident in men. Environ Res. 2013 Oct;126:98-104. PubMed ID: 23972896
  • Zhu M, Chu H, Greenland S. Biased standard errors from complex survey analysis: an example from applying ordinary least squares to the national hospital ambulatory medical care survey. Ann Epidemiol. 2011 Nov;21(11):830-4. PubMed ID: 21982486
  • Zhu M, Chu H, Rice TM, Carter MW. Implications of conducting trend analyses of emergency department visits using publicly released masked design variables. Ann Emerg Med. 2011 Jun;57(6):683-687.e1. PubMed ID: 21310510
  • Zhu M, Fitzgerald EF, Gelberg KH. Exposure sources and reasons for testing among women with low blood lead levels. Int J Environ Health Res. 2011 Aug;21(4):286-93. PubMed ID: 21547811
  • Zhu M, Fitzgerald EF, Gelberg KH, Lin S, Druschel CM. Maternal low-level lead exposure and fetal growth. Environ Health Perspect. 2010 Oct;118(10):1471-5. PubMed ID: 20562053
  • Zhu M, Chu H, Li G. Effects of graduated driver licensing on licensure and traffic injury rates in Upstate New York. Accid Anal Prev. 2009 May;41(3):531-5. PubMed ID: 19393803
  • Zhu M, Cummings P, Chu H, Cook LJ. Association of rear seat safety belt use with death in a traffic crash: a matched cohort study. Inj Prev. 2007 Jun;13(3):183-5. PubMed ID: 17567974
  • Tanaka M, Jaamaa G, Kaiser M, Hills E, Soim A, et al. Racial disparity in hypertensive disorders of pregnancy in New York State: a 10-year longitudinal population-based study. Am J Public Health. 2007 Jan;97(1):163-70. PubMed ID: 17138931
  • Xiang H, Zhu M, Sinclair SA, Stallones L, Wilkins JR 3rd, et al. Risk of vehicle-pedestrian and vehicle-bicyclist collisions among children with disabilities. Accid Anal Prev. 2006 Nov;38(6):1064-70. PubMed ID: 16797463
  • Zhu M, Druschel C, Lin S. Maternal birthplace and major congenital malformations among New York Hispanics. Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. 2006 Jun;76(6):467-73. PubMed ID: 16933210
  • Zhu M, Hardman SB, Cook LJ. Backseat safety belt use and crash outcome. J Safety Res. 2005;36(5):505-7. PubMed ID: 16300793
  • Payami H, Zhu M, Montimurro J, Keefe R, McCulloch CC, et al. One step closer to fixing association studies: evidence for age- and gender-specific allele frequency variations and deviations from Hardy-Weinberg expectations in controls. Hum Genet. 2005 Dec;118(3-4):322-30. PubMed ID: 16189709

Awards, Honors and Organizations

  • Excellence in Teaching Award, West Virginia University, 2014
Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000