It’s easy to get distracted while you’re driving – especially if you’re a teen. Sometimes, the siren song of the cell phone can be too much to resist. In fact, recent studies state drivers under the age of 20 have the highest proportion of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes at 16 percent. To combat this serious problem, Massachusetts’ Arbella Insurance Group Charitable Foundation has introduced the Distractology 101 tour, which offers young drivers an up-close and personal look at the dangerous and deadly effects of distracted driving.
Set to hit various locations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island over the next three years, Arbella will be touring in a 36-foot long neon yellow mobile trailer equipped with two driving simulators that will teach them how to stay focused and safe while on the road. Teens can get behind the wheel and see how they would do in a variety of real-world scenarios that take them through the dangers of distracted driving.
Arbella joined forces with labs from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst to develop the program. At the end of the three years, about 10,000 novice drivers will have taken the simulator training, as well as an online curriculum and safe driving pledge.
The effects of distracted driving are similar to driving while drunk, as shown by multiple studies. Data from the National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA) shows that almost 6,000 people were killed and more than a half million injured in 2008 as a result of distracted driving. Other studies have shown that the risk of crashing while texting is 23 times higher than driving while drunk.
After the jump, watch the video that demonstration how the program works. For more information about this program and tour stops, visit DistractU.com.
[Source: Consumer Reports]