More than 3,000 lives are lost and 400,000 people are injured as a result of distracted driving each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Administration.
To aid awareness, Allstate is launching a national tour with the company’s Reality Rides distracted driving simulator this month. In its third year, the campaign builds awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and offers tips and information on how to be safer behind the wheel.
“Educating drivers about safety has long been a commitment for Allstate,” said Steve Sorenson, executive vice president of product operations at Allstate Insurance Company. “More than a decade ago, we began to build awareness of how distractions in the car could become driving dangers. Today, our Reality Rides simulator provides an impactful way for drivers to learn firsthand how significantly distractions can affect their ability to drive safely.”
A survey of more than 4,500 people who experienced Reality Rides’ simulation shows that sixty-nine percent learned more about distracted driving, and 85 percent found the program “fun and effective.”
Reality Rides features a real but stationary car equipped with virtual reality technology that displays a responsive animated environment on a curved LED television embedded in the windshield. Using the steering wheel, gas and brake pedals, the driver is tasked with driving while also attempting to text, talk on the phone and enter navigation system directions. Participants are given traffic “tickets” that reveal potential infractions a driver could receive if the experience happened in real life, and have the opportunity to take the Allstate X the TXT pledge to not text and drive.
Curbing Bad Habits
Allstate Reality Rides tours surveyed participants before experiencing the simulator and found they “get” how distracted driving is dangerous, yet many didn’t make attempts to curb their behaviors:
- Nearly sixty percent admit to talking on the phone and 43 percent admit to texting while driving at least “sometimes” if not more.
- Nearly seven-in-10 rate their ability to text or talk on the phone while driving as “fair” or “poor” as opposed to “the same,” “good” or “excellent.”
- Two-thirds of drivers said their knowledge of texting’s impairment effect was average or above.
- A large majority (85 percent) think texting and distracted driving is the same or more dangerous than drunk driving.
Reality Rides Reach
After experiencing the Reality Rides simulation, participants answered another survey that gauged its reach in changing their road safety opinions:
- Six-in-10 said they would “never text and drive,” and another nearly one-third said they would “think twice about texting while driving.”
- Majority of participants (58 percent) said they will not let others drive distracted or they will inform others of the dangers (almost 35 percent).
- A vast majority – 92 percent – said they are less likely to ride with others who text or are distracted while driving.
Reality Rides will tour 25 American cities starting with the Denver Auto Show and will continue on to venues ranging from community gatherings to sporting events and teen safe driving advocacy programs.
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