Distracted Driving Prevention Program will travel to 86 Michigan, Ohio & Indiana High Schools
Grand Rapids, Michigan – The number of fatalities in distraction-affected crashes fell by 12.4 percent 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 state-of-the-art Augmented Reality Distracted Driving Education Simulator – ARDDES Aware program. 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.
Response to the high-energy, high-tech educational program has been extremely positive. John Oliverio, an instructor at Detroit Public and Community School District’s Renaissance High School, said the experience was a real eye opener for his students. “While there is no substitute for actual experience in learning, the augmented reality program takes things to a whole new level. Our students came out buzzing!”
ABOUT PEERS FOUNDATION
A 501c3 non-profit organization based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the PEERS Foundation creates innovative and interactive interventions to engage today’s youth and empower them to make better decisions around health, wellness, and education. PEERS’ website: https://peersfoundation.org/
ABOUT GENERAL MOTORS
General Motors is a global company committed to delivering safer, better and more sustainable ways for people to get around. General Motors, its subsidiaries and its joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Holden, Baojun and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety and security services, Maven, its personal mobility brand and Cruise, its autonomous vehicle ride-sharing company, can be found at http://www.gm.com.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2018 Fatal Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview – https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812826