April 29, 2008 - Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Hartford
Students at Jonathan Law High School in Milford became the first in the state to use a computer-based virtual driver training simulator Tuesday morning. The equipment will be back at the school for three months next year as part of a pilot project initiated by Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and Allstate Foundation to help students understand the rules of the road and recognize and develop appropriate responses to typical driving hazards.
Students who got behind the wheel of the computer-based simulator saw how the 12-lesson program can help them improve driving skills by creating realistic scenarios that challenge inexperienced drivers. Lack of experience is a leading risk factor for approximately 500,000 teen injuries and 6,000 teen deaths annually.
“This kind of training has been shown to increase the scanning skills of young drivers, better equipping them to identify and to respond to driving hazards, and because of their low cost it is realistic to think that simulators could be in every high school in the state, giving young novice drivers another strategy to reduce their risk of injury or death on our roads,” said Kevin Borrup, director of the Injury Free Coalition for Kids at Connecticut Children’s.
Jonathan Law High School, with Weaver High School in Hartford, will be the first of six schools throughout the state to host the simulators for about three months each in the 2008-2009 school year. If the project, part of a comprehensive effort in the state to reduce the number of teen crash-related deaths and injuries, succeeds, sponsors hope to secure additional funding to put the simulators in all the state’s high schools and to evaluate the impact that this type of training program can have on overall teen crash rates and fatalities.
Connecticut Children’s Medical Center is a nationally recognized leader in pediatric care and the only free-standing hospital in the state devoted exclusively to the care of children. Connecticut Children’s offers a full range of services for children from birth through age 18 and brings quality care to children statewide through 10 affiliated community hospitals and 12 practice locations. Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation. Teen driving has been a priority for the Foundation since 2005.
Kevin Borrup, 860-545-9984