Distracted driving program shows Greenfield students how quickly things can change

Franklin County

AAA brought Distractology to Greenfield High School to show inexperienced drivers what can go wrong.

“It was very eye-opening to see all the situations that you could get into,” said Katherine Fortian, a junior at Greenfield High School.

“I mean it was really scary, so I definitely want to be more careful on the road,” added Kacia Kinsmith, another high school junior.

Greenfield High School students participated in distractology training Thursday. It’s a mobile classroom equipped with two driving simulators. New drivers can experience the consequences of distracted driving.

“We put them together based on things that should happen, every day, and if something goes wrong, if they’re doing something wrong — either the driver doing it or another driver — and they’re not being cautious and they’re not paying attention because of the distraction they’re doing, then they can get into an accident,” said Distractology Tour Manager Nick Prpich-Romani.

Prpich-Romani told 22News, teens spend about 45 minutes training on the simulators.

According to the CDC, distracted driving kills nine people every hour, and injures more than one thousand. That’s why AAA brings distractology to students, so they can safely experience the dangers of distracted driving.

“We often see a majority of our claims and loses and fatalities regarding teen drivers as a result of distraction, whether its radio or on the phone. We’re trying to bring awareness as much as we can to the fact that any kind of distraction in a vehicle can cause serious harm,” said Stephen Brochu, vice president of insurance for AAA Pioneer Valley.

A Greenfield High School junior told 22News, she was surprised how quickly things can go wrong when she looked away for just seconds.

“I thought it was really great to do. So, I’m aware of the distractions on the road, how you can get distracted, but it helped a lot,” Ebony White-Politis said.

Greenfield students will be taking the distractology course again Friday.

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