Mobile Classroom and High-Tech Driving Simulations Designed to Educate Young Drivers First Hand
Needham & Newton, Mass., October 18, 2012 – Aronson Insurance, a leading, award-winning independent insurance agency in the suburban Boston area, is proud to bring the state-of-the-art Distractology 101 tour to Newton during the week of October 30 – November 3, 2012. 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.
Nearly 5,500 people were killed and almost half a million were injured in accidents related to distracted driving (including text messaging) in 2009.1 Not surprisingly, research has found that text messaging increases the risk of a crash by 23 times.3 In June 2011, more than 196 billion text messages were sent or received in the U.S., up nearly 50% from June 2009.2 Driving while distracted is particularly dangerous for teen drivers; in 2009, a startling 40% of American teens said they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger.4 In 2012 AAA found that electronics were the number one cause of distraction for teen drivers and that females were twice as likely as males to use their phones while driving. 5
“Distracted driving is a widespread epidemic among young drivers that continues to worsen, particularly as mobile devices become more prevalent, more advanced and more addictive,” said John Donohue, chairman, president and CEO of the Arbella Insurance Group, and chairman and president of the Arbella Insurance Foundation. “According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 800,000 drivers are using a hand-held cell phone at any given moment but only 57% recognize it as a serious threat to their safety. This lack of awareness and understanding is quite startling. It is our hope that Distractology 101 will continue to tackle this naivety head on and force drivers to once and for all break their mobile phone addiction while on the road.”
To date a total of 3,798 new drivers, meaning those that have been licensed less than three years, have completed the Distractology 101 training. Last year, 94% percent of students surveyed said the experience was effective or extremely effective and 75% said they would recommend the experience to a friend, up from 64% in 2010.
“Aronson Insurance is proud to support a program that aims to educate young drivers of the dangers of distracted driving, ultimately saving the lives of our teens and other drivers,” said Steven Aronson, President & CEO, Aronson Insurance. “In just two years Arbella’s Distractology 101 campaign has made enormous strides in terms of combating distracted driving. In fact, research has indicated that this type of real life stimulation and education can truly help to change dangerous behavior and we are thrilled to support this important mission.”
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 2012, 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 Joan Pagel of Aronson Insurance at 781-444-3050 or Joan@AronsonInsurance.com.
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 Aronson Insurance Agency
Aronson Insurance is the leading, award-winning independent insurance agency in the suburban Boston area, specializing in providing the highest quality insurance products services to individuals and businesses that protect and safeguard their assets from financial loss. With two locations in Newton and Needham and a staff of over 20 insurance professionals, Aronson Insurance represents more than 15 insurance companies and personally services over 5,000 clients.
Aronson Insurance, with offices at 950 Highland Ave in Needham and 697 Washington Street in Newton, is open six days a week while the client-service phone team is available 24/7. For more information, visit aronsoninsurance.com or call us at (781) 444-3050.
For more information:
617.275.6512 or 617.981.2236 (mobile)
617.275.6528 or 617.922.1289 (mobile)