Distractology Van makes a stop at Gateway Regional High School - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Distractology Van makes a stop at Gateway Regional High School

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HUNTINGTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

Students at one western MA high school are learning a very important lesson this week about the dangers of distracted driving.

It’s all thanks to the Distractology Van, which puts teenagers in the driver’s seat as they face distractions behind the wheel.

Distracted driving, especially amongst teens, is one of the biggest problems we face on the road, according to the Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan.

“Distracted driving as far as personal injury and death, it's our number one thing. When kids are texting, it's the highest chance of having an accident.”

And the most recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said as much.

In 2015, 9 percent of all fatal crashes involving drivers between the ages of 15 and 19 could be linked to distracted driving.

Which is why this week, the Distractology Van stopped at Gateway Regional High School to pass along lessons of the road.

“Yesterday, driving home, I have to drive through the center of Northampton to get to work and I'm like, 'oh my gosh, is somebody going to run out in front of me? Am I going to hit somebody?” said Ryley Carleton.

The van is loaded with the latest technology, giving these students a chance to see just how dangerous distracted driving can be.

“Like in one of the instances, you look down at your phone, you cross the crosswalk, and there's a truck on the other side, and the lady walks out in front of you and you hit her.”

Each week the Distractology Van makes a stop across New England bringing to light what so many people can say has impacted them in the worst way.

Ryley Carleton drives about 500 miles per week and she said the Distractology Van, which is sponsored by local insurance companies, will change the way you drive.

“It's really eye-opening. It gives you real life situations that could happen while you're driving, and it's almost kind of scary how in just the blink of an eye, you can look down at your phone, and then you're in someone’s bumper.”

And just by taking this test, which lasts about 30 minutes, you aren’t just becoming a better, distraction free driver, you could also save some money.

You can learn more about the program here.

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