The list of top distracted driving behaviors was compiled by the Arbella Insurance Foundation
According to the Arbella Insurance Foundation’s Distractology 101, these are the top distracted driving behaviors of New England teens:
April marked five years for Arbella’s Distractology 101 tour
Over the last five years, Arbella says that almost 10,000 Massachusetts teenagers have completed the Distractology 101 training course. The tour, which was one of the first in the country to address distracted driving among young, inexperienced drivers, has visited 105 towns in the Commonwealth and more than 100 high schools have participated in the program. As for agents, 110 of Arbella’s independent agents have hosted the program with 33 of them hosting the program multiple times.
“Distracted driving continues to be a widespread epidemic across the country with no sign of slowing, and our young, inexperienced drivers are especially vulnerable to this danger,” said John Donohue, chairman, president and CEO of the Arbella Insurance Group, and chairman of the Arbella Insurance Foundation. “According to a study by AAA, 86 percent of teen drivers have driven while distracted, even though 84 percent know it’s dangerous. This startling number highlights the need for continued education on the dangers of distracted driving so we can prevent unnecessary tragedies and keep our teens safe on the roads. We’re proud to launch the fifth year of Distractology 101, and we remain committed to helping defeat this epidemic.”
Teens, not just in Massachusetts, but across the country, have the highest crash rate of any group in the United States. In a the 2015 study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety cited by Arbella, distraction was a factor in nearly six out of ten moderate-to-severe teen crashes. This number is four times as many as official estimates based on police reports.
“Motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of death among 16-19 year-olds in the United States, and their risk of being involved in a fatal crash is almost three times higher than drivers aged 20 and older,” said Dr. Donald L. Fisher, professor and a department head in the College of Engineering, UMass Amherst, and national expert on distracted driving. “We teamed up with Arbella to create a simulator that mimics real life distracted driving and educates young drivers about the hazards of this dangerous behavior. By participating in the training, new drivers can be better equipped at anticipating hazards and abstaining from dangerous behavior.”
Arbella’s Distractology 101 course is held in a 36 foot-long mobile classroom that is outfitted with high-tech driving simulators. The mobile classroom travels around the Commonwealth and New England to deliver its course and to lead students “…through a variety of true-to-life distracted driving scenarios including texting and cell phone use, educating participants to anticipate hidden hazards, react to the road and avoid accidents. Participants also complete the online portion of the curriculum at www.DistractU.com.”
The Distractology 101 simulator offers teen drivers 45 minutes of simulated distracted driving in order to make them aware of the consequences of this type of driving. “It’s (Distractology) very realistic and educational. It could help teen drivers now and in the future. I learned that I should stop texting and driving,” said Irvin Gonzales, student at Burncoat High School in Worcester.
More for Arbella agents
Arbella-appointed agents who want to find out more about hosting Distractology 101 in their communities should contact the Arbella Insurance Foundation. To learn more about the program first, start at www.DistractU.com.”