Distracted driving course at Amherst Regional High School

Students will be trained in distracted driving dangers through Friday.

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP)-  Teens who get behind the wheel are turning to the popular photo-sharing app, Snapchat, more than ever to communicate while driving.

In 2016, there were more than 70,000 Instagram posts with hashtags like, #drivingselfie, and #hopeidontcrash. Students at Amherst Regional High School quickly learned Tuesday just how dangerous distracted driving could be.

“It’s only a quick 40 minute course, so just that”, says Distractology instructor, Nick Prpich. “We show them that and they’re already thinking about all the dangers on the road.”

Teens who complete the Distractology course are not only better drivers, they’re more aware of everything that could be distracted driving.

“You’re having to look out for the bad drivers on the road, and having to deal with all this other stuff that you don’t necessarily think about as being distracted driving, but in reality you just focus on getting there and you forget about everything else that’s also going on”, Amherst senior Lee Borrell said.

During the simulation, students get to text, drink water, change the radio, and of course, take a selfie. Time and time again, even the slightest distractions caused them to crash.

The course works, too. Drivers who took the course were just under 20% less likely to be involved in an accident, and 25% less likely to be pulled over for a traffic violation.