Monday, June 10, 2013

June 10-14

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        

Fred C. Church Insurance Agency Brings Distractology 101™ Tour to Chelmsford High School to Educate Teen Drivers on Dangers of Distracted Driving

Mobile Classroom and High-Tech Driving Simulations Designed to Educate Young Drivers First Hand 

Chelmsford, Mass., May 23, 2013 – Fred C. Church Insurance Agency in partnership with the office of State Representative Thomas A. Golden, Jr. is proud to bring the state-of-the-art Distractology 101 tour to Chelmsford High School during the week of June 10-14. Distractology 101 is an interactive program developed by the Arbella Insurance Foundation to teach new drivers the dangers of distracted driving. The campaign features a 36-foot-long, neon-yellow mobile classroom outfitted with high-tech driving simulators designed to give new drivers the chance to experience the perils of distracted driving, including texting while driving.

More than 3,000 people are killed each year in crashes involving a distracted driver and an estimated additional 416,000 are injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field at 55 mph, blind. 

“Distracted driving is a widespread epidemic among young drivers that continues to worsen, particularly as mobile devices become more prevalent, more advanced and more addictive,” said John Donohue, chairman, president and CEO of the Arbella Insurance Group, and chairman and president of the Arbella Insurance Foundation. “According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 800,000 drivers are using a hand-held cell phone at any given moment but only 57% recognize it as a serious threat to their safety. This lack of awareness and understanding is quite startling. It is our hope that Distractology 101 will continue to tackle this naivety head on and force drivers to once and for all break their mobile phone addiction while on the road.”

To date nearly 4,000 new drivers, meaning those that have been licensed less than three years or have a learner’s permit have completed the Distractology 101 training. In 2012, 97% percent of students surveyed said the experience was effective or extremely effective and 82% said they would recommend the experience to a friend.

“In the last three years Arbella’s Distractology 101 campaign has made enormous strides in terms of combating distracted driving,” said Herman Laturnau of Fred C. Church Insurance Agency. “The program’s mission is quite simple: to educate young drivers of the dangers of distracted driving and ultimately save the lives of teens living in communities such as Chelmsford. Research has indicated that this type of real life stimulation and education can truly help to change dangerous behavior and we at Fred C. Church are proud to support this important mission.”
“Working with Fred C. Church and the Arbella Insurance Foundation is an eye opener with the statics on crashes and the senseless loss of lives each year.  Life is short as it is, let’s not make it shorter.  Arbella’s Distractology 101 is driving to educate novice drivers,” said Representative Tom Golden.

The Distractology driving simulator, based on Arbella-funded research conducted with the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (UMASS), will travel to various communities in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island during 2013, offering 45 minutes of simulated distracted driving to each participant.

During the driving simulator training — Distractology 101: A Crash Course on Distracted Driving — teens and other new drivers face a number of scenarios based on real-world examples, educating  participants on how to anticipate hidden hazards, react to the road and avoid accidents. Participants also complete the online portion of the curriculum at  and make a safe-driving pledge in order to complete the training.

To sign up for the free Distractology 101 training, contact Bill Burbine at Fred C. Church Insurance Agency at (978)322-7215.

About the Arbella Insurance Group and the Arbella Insurance Foundation
Established in 1988, the Arbella Insurance Group ( is a company with more than $600M in revenue with approximately $1B in assets, headquartered in Quincy, Massachusetts.  Arbella is a customer-focused regional property and casualty insurance company, providing personal and business insurance in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and business insurance in Rhode Island and New Hampshire. Arbella Insurance Group founded the Arbella Insurance Foundation in 2004.  The mission of Arbella’s Foundation is to engage in activities and to support not-for-profit organizations that have a significant positive impact on the people and communities served by Arbella.

About Fred C. Church Insurance Agency

Since 1865 Fred C. Church has been focused on providing insurance and risk management services to businesses and individuals.  Today we are one of New England’s largest privately-owned, independent insurance agencies with offices in Lowell, Andover, Chelmsford, Dracut, Haverhill, Portsmouth, Tewksbury and Westford.  The agency’s longevity is a testament to Fred C. Church’s commitment to its employees, customers and the communities it serves.  “It’s not just the policy. It’s the people.”

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For more information:
Christine Williamson                                                                 
617.275.6528 or 617.922.1289 (mobile)                          

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