Bearingstar Insurance Agency is proud to bring the state-of-the-art Distractology 101 tour to LEGO during the week of March 18th – 22nd. Distractology 101 is an interactive program developed by the Arbella Insurance Foundation to teach new drivers the dangers of distracted driving. The campaign features a 36-foot-long, neon-yellow mobile classroom outfitted with high-tech driving simulators designed to give new drivers the chance to experience the perils of distracted driving, including texting while driving.
More than 3,000 people are killed each year in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver and an estimated additional 421,000 are injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving at any given daylight moment across America. Sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field at 55 mph, blind.
“Distracted driving is an epidemic that continues to worsen despite the public’s general awareness of its dangers,” said John Donohue, chairman, president and CEO of the Arbella Insurance Group, and chairman and president of the Arbella Insurance Foundation. “Distractology is an effective teaching tool because young drivers actually experience the feeling of a distracted driving crash scenario. They feel the shock of an unanticipated road hazard and the distress of a crash, but from the safety of the simulator. The simulation has a more lasting impact than reading about or watching a crash secondhand.”
To date more than 5,700 new drivers, meaning those that have been licensed less than three years or have a learner’s permit have completed the Distractology 101 training. In 2012, 97% percent of students surveyed said the experience was effective or extremely effective and 82% said they would recommend the experience to a friend.
“Since 2010, Distractology 101 has been teaching our communities’ young drivers to stay safe behind the wheel,” said Richard Toce of Bearingstar Insurance. “Just like the anti-drunk driving campaign of the ’80s and ‘90s, we hope that campaigns such as this one will make texting while driving as taboo as drinking and driving is today.”
The Distractology driving simulator, based on Arbella-funded research conducted with the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (UMass), will travel to various communities in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island during 2014, offering 45 minutes of simulated distracted driving to each participant.
During the driving simulator training — Distractology 101: A Crash Course on Distracted Driving — teens and other new drivers face a number of scenarios based on real-world examples, educating participants on how to anticipate hidden hazards, react to the road and avoid accidents. Participants also complete the online portion of the curriculum at www.DistractU.com and make a safe-driving pledge in order to complete the training.
To sign up for the free Distractology 101 training, contact Jennifer Casalone at Bearingstar Insurance Agency at (860) 741-4210.
About the Arbella Insurance Group and the Arbella Insurance Foundation
Established in 1988, the Arbella Insurance Group (www.arbella.com) is a company with more than $600M in revenue with approximately $1B in assets, headquartered in Quincy, Massachusetts. Arbella is a customer-focused regional property and casualty insurance company, providing personal and business insurance in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and business insurance in Rhode Island and New Hampshire. Arbella Insurance Group founded the Arbella Insurance Foundation in 2004. The mission of Arbella’s Foundation is to engage in activities and to support not-for-profit organizations that have a significant positive impact on the people and communities served by Arbella.
About Bearingstar Insurance Agency
Bearingstar Insurance is a local agency with 11 convenient locations across the state Connecticut. Bearingstar specializes in risk identification and protection to meet the needs of individuals, families, and businesses.