Distracted Driving. It's Time We Put the Brakes On It.
As a parent of a new driver, you probably have a long list of things you’re worried about, and distracted driving may not even be first on that list. But consider this: studies have shown that using a cell phone while driving, whether it’s handheld or hands-free, delays a driver's reactions as much as does having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. Surprising, isn’t it? Take a look at Don't be a Stat to see more surprising facts about this growing danger.
While we tend to think of taking a phone call or grabbing a bite to eat behind the wheel as relatively harmless, it’s just plain dangerous – not just to the driver but also to everyone else on the road. As hard as it is to accept, focusing on the road should always be our only task – even when there are emails to answer, calls to take, meals to grab, kids to shuttle and errands to run.
Promoting public safety is one of the missions of The Arbella Insurance Group Charitable Foundation, Inc. (“Arbella”). Arbella sponsors research in the area of distracted driving conducted in the Human Performance Lab at the College of Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst. The laboratory is headed by Dr. Donald Fisher, professor and department head, a national expert on distracted driving. His research uses driving simulators to teach new drivers how to avoid accidents and stay safe behind the wheel. Arbella decided to bring the benefits of driver simulator training to the public by creating a mobile classroom called the Distractology 101 tour. The university created the driving simulations used in the Arbella training. The tour puts your teen behind the wheel of a driving simulator console so he or she sees first-hand how distractions affect driver safety. If you’d like to see if the tour is appearing close to you, visit our tour locator.
We hope Distractology 101 is just the beginning of a dialogue you’ll have with your teen. As a parent, you have a dual responsibility: teach your kids not to multitask behind the wheel and set an example for them. See R U Guilty for some common excuses adults use to justify their multitasking behind the wheel. It’s time we all recognized that no call, email or text is so important that we’d risk lives for it. Sign the pledge to stop the distractions.