GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — An Augmented Reality Distracted Driving Education Simulator (ARDDES) will be at Patrick Henry High School April 7.

The number of fatalities in distraction-affected crashes fell by 12.4% from 3,242 in 2017 to 2,841 in 2018 according to a report released in October 2019 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“We’re incredibly excited that distracted driving fatalities are down for the third year in a row,” said Michael Seymore, CEO of the PEERS Foundation. “Thanks to our partnership with General Motors (GM), the ARDDES distracted driving prevention program is making a huge impact and saving lives across the region.”

Founded in 2007, PEERS, which stands for Professionals Encouraging Educational Reforms, utilizes emerging technology to create innovative and interactive learning programs that engage today’s youth and empower them to make better decisions around health, wellness and education.

In 2017, GM provided funding to develop the simulator. During the 360-degree, immersive experience, simulator participants wear a Meta2 augmented-reality headset while “driving” a GM vehicle. In addition to navigating realistic traffic conditions, students experience driving distractions ranging from passenger conversations to incoming phone calls and text messages while in the simulator.

GM has funded the ARDDES Aware experience at more than 135 Michigan and Ohio high schools.

In addition, strategic partnerships with other like-minded local, regional and national companies, government agencies and state transportation departments have allowed PEERS to take the ARDDES program to an additional 365 high schools and community events across the United States.

“Since its inception,” shared Seymore, “we’ve had 65,272 students come to the ARDDES Distracted Driving Prevention Program.” GM’s partnership renewal will allow the extremely popular program to reach more than 10,000 additional high school students in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana in 2020.

(Information courtesy of Patrick Henry High School.)

 

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