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Distracted-driving simulator headed to Dedham next week

Posted by Natalie Feulner  October 4, 2012 01:04 PM

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Dedham High students and area residents will have a chance to experience the dangers of distracted driving from the safety of a mobile classroom next week, when “Distractology 101,” an interactive program sponsored by KW Insurance, rolls into campus.

The 36-foot bus, which houses high-tech driving simulators, will arrive Tuesday, and students will have multiple opportunities to learn about distracted driving from then until Saturday.

Simulations are open to both students and Dedham residents and on Oct. 11, both Sen. Michael Rush and Representative Paul McMurtry will try their hands at distracted driving.

According to a news release about the program, KW Insurance Agency hopes the simulator will demonstrate how detrimental using a cell phone while driving can be.

“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,” John Donohue, chairman, president and CEO of the Arbella Insurance Group, said in a statement. “ 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.”

The driving simulator, which was created based on research done at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, will travel to various communities throughout the state, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Each simulation is 45 minutes and drivers face a number of real-world scenarios while learning how to anticipate hidden hazards, react to the road, and avoid accidents.

To sign up for the free training, contact Marge Bohan at Dedham High School, 781-326-4773

Natalie Feulner can be reached at natalie.feulner@gmail.com.

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