Simulator offers crash course on the dangers of distracted driving

Program hopes to discourage bad driving habits in young drivers

BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (WWLP) – According to AAA, teens have the highest crash rate of any demographic group in the United States. That’s why this week, a mobile classroom is parked outside Belchertown High School to teach students about the dangers of distracted driving.

It’s called the Distractology tour and it’s funded by the Arbella Insurance Foundation. Inside the mobile classroom is a driving simulator. Students get to experience different dangerous scenarios on the road, while texting, changing songs on their phone playlist, drinking a bottle of water, or driving too quickly.

“Most of the time they’re shocked that they are actually worse drivers than they thought,” tour manager Nick Prpich told 22News. “They’re not experienced drivers. It doesn’t mean that they’re terrible, it just means that they are inexperienced.”

Arbella Insurance says students that complete the program are shown to decrease accident rates by 19 percent. Teens that participate in the program and survey are offered a percentage off on their insurance.

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