Tuesday, 15 March 2016 02:24

Allstate Reality Rides® Simulator Drives Coast to Coast to Help Save Lives


With motor vehicle deaths increasing by 8 percent from 2014 to 2015, the largest year-over-year increase in 50 years, Allstate is aiming to keep Americans safer on the roads. As part of these efforts, the insurance company announced on March 14 the launch of its fourth annual Reality Rides® distracted driving simulator tour, which aims to increase awareness around the dangers of distracted driving – the cause of more than 3,000 deaths and more than 400,000 injuries each year – and offer solutions to be safer behind the wheel.

"Improving driver focus and safety is a longtime commitment for Allstate," said Mary Martinez, a Miami-based Allstate agency owner. "More than a decade ago, we began building awareness of how distractions in the car can become driving dangers. Today, the Allstate Reality Rides simulator provides a safe and lasting effect on drivers who learn firsthand how significantly distractions can impact their ability to drive safely."

Reality Rides opened its annual tour of 20 U.S. cities on March 13 at the Calle Ocho Festival in Miami.

The simulator features a real car equipped with a virtual reality, curved LED screen atop the windshield that displays a responsive animated environment. Using the steering wheel, gas and brake pedals, the operator is tasked with driving the car while also attempting to text, talk on the phone and enter navigation system directions. After their ride, participants are given "traffic citations" that highlight real-life infractions the driver committed during the simulation. Participants are then encouraged to take the Allstate X the TXT® pledge to not text and drive.

More Driving=More Distractions

  • Now is an especially important time to eliminate distractions, because Americans are driving more – leading to more than 38,000 roadway fatalities in 2015, the highest number of deaths since 2008
  • According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Americans drove 3.14 trillion miles from November 2014 to November, 2015, an increase of more than 3 percent over the previous 12 months and the largest year-to-year increase in nearly 20 years (1997).
  • Car crashes are the No. 1 cause of death for Americans between 11 and 27, with teens crashing four times more often than any other age group.
  • Distracted driving is attributed to about 26 percent of all car collisions.
  • Studies have shown drivers who text are 23 times more likely to crash, and texting while driving is the equivalent to driving after drinking alcohol.

Provisions for Prevention

  • High-visibility cell phone and text messaging enforcement campaigns have been shown to reduce common distractions, and most motorists are in favor of them.
  • Stronger teen driving laws, referred to as Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL), have been shown to reduce traffic fatalities by as much as 30 percent in the states where they were adopted.
  • Research from The Allstate Foundation's "License to Save" report found that comprehensive GDL laws could save an estimated 2,000 lives and $13.6 billion annually.

Reality Rides Reveals

  • A survey of Reality Rides participants from previous tours reveals that 67 percent learned something new about distracted driving, and 82 percent found the program "fun and effective."
  • The survey results reveal that participants understand how distracted driving is dangerous, yet many don't make attempts to curb their behaviors.
  • Sixty-three percent admit to talking on the phone and 46 percent admit to texting while driving at least "sometimes," if not more.
  • After experiencing Reality Rides, 59 percent said they would "never text and drive," and another 32 percent said they would "think twice about texting while driving."

Tips for Distraction-Free Driving via Allstate

  • Put your cell phone and other mobile devices out of reach to eliminate the desire to check them while driving.
  • Plan ahead by inputting navigation directions and sending messages before leaving for your destination.
  • Avoid listening to loud music and use caution when engaging with other passengers in your vehicle, which are often unintended distractions.
  • Keep both hands on the steering wheel and don't try to multi-task with other common distractions like eating or applying makeup.

Reality Rides will visit venues ranging from community gatherings to sporting events and safe driving advocacy programs. To track the Allstate Reality Rides tour and see photos of participants, visit www.facebook.com/XtheTXT

Other cities in this year's tour are: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Boise, Idaho, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Columbus, Ohio, Denver, Ft. Myers, Florida, Greenville, South Carolina, Hartford, Connecticut, Huntsville, Alabama, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Lubbock, Texas, Milwaukee, Norfolk, Virginia, Portland, Oregon, Rockford, Illinois, Tucson, Arizona, Wayne, New Jersey, and Westchester, New York

Allstate Reality Rides® Simulator Drives Coast to Coast To Help Save Lives