Nantucket Students Take Part in “Distractology” Project

NANTUCKET –Students on Nantucket are going to get a firsthand look at the dangers of distracted driving as they take part this week in a program called “Distractology.”

The course features two high tech simulators designed to give students an idea as to the dangers of using a cell phone, texting, or accessing social media while driving.

But it’s not limited to cell phones, according to Lynn Mason Small of Rogers and Gray Insurance which sponsors the program along with insurer Arbella.

“We also focus on to different things that will distract them, whether its a cell phone, a child in the road, traffic signals, etc. And it’s graded on a pass fail system for each scenario,” she said.

“The program is designed to show the students just how quickly things can go from driving, what you think is safe, to being in an accident.”

According to insurance industry statistics, students who complete the program are 19 percent less likely to have an accident and 25 percent less likely to receive tickets.

The Centers for Disease Control says 9 people are killed every hour and more than 1,000 injured as a result of distracted drivers.

Teens have the highest crash rate of any group in the U.S. According to AAA, new teen drivers 16-17 years old are three times as likely than adults to be involved in a deadly crash.

86% of teen drivers have driven while distracted even though 84% know it’s dangerous to do so.

To date, more than 13,000 new drivers, meaning those that have been licensed less than 3 years or have a learner’s permit, have completed the Distractology training, with 96% willing to recommend it to their friends, according to Arbella and Rogers and Gray Insurance, which is responsible for bringing the program to the Cape and Islands.

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