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Exploring the Hazards of Distracted Driving in Massachusetts

05/24/2010

I had a great opportunity last week to see the Arbella Insurance Group’s Distractology 101 Mobile Classroom in action. I really wanted to share this with the blog readership for a couple reasons.

  • Distracted driving is an issue worth addressing. Figures citing that “6,000 people are killed each year due to multitasking behind the wheel” are simply too disturbing to ignore.
  • Massachusetts based insurance carrier, Arbella Insurance Group, had the foresight to put together this awareness and training program and used the bright minds at UMASS Amherst to facilitate the research.
  • Arbella is utilizing the connections and people skills of their insurance agents and brokers, like Eastern Insurance Group, to spread this message and engage the public.

Distractology 101 is an innovative two-part course aimed at young drivers that explores the hazards of distracted driving. Part I is a hands on driving simulator exercise that lasts about forty minutes. Students navigate several potentially dangerous driving scenarios, and even try to read and write text messages while behind the wheel. Part II is an online educational component that reinforces the ideas learned in the simulator training. Students who successfully complete both parts are eligible to receive a 7% discount off their Arbella auto insurance policy.

Meg Sommerville of Eastern Insurance was kind enough to speak with me on camera and allowed me to tape some of the training. Check out the inside of the mobile unit and see if you can watch the students “crash” the simulator without cringing:

This is an extreamly worthwhile program for young drivers. Actually, I think it’d be extreamly worthwhile for any driver! It truly makes you think twice about picking up that phone, digging in the glove box or simply taking your eyes off the road.

Thank you Meg, Eastern Insurance Group, LLC and Arbella for inviting us along.

Want to know where the Distractology 101 Trailer will be next…get the tour dates here.

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