Car crash simulator drives home safety message

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As part of national Road Safety Week (23-29 November) Autoline Insurance Group has launched its extended ‘2 Young 2 Die’ Road Education programme in partnership with the road safety charity Brake.

In addition to the interactive workshops, the new campaign features a car crash simulator to help drive home the grim reality of careless driving.

The car, a specially modified Ford Focus, comes with hi-tech equipment that simulates a car crash. It uses a high quality sound system, hydraulics, smoke and lights to recreate a true incident which resulted in multiple fatalities and a prison sentence for the 17-year old driver. It is only one of a handful of simulators in use across the UK.

Newry-based Autoline has been Brake’s corporate ambassador in Northern Ireland for three years. Since then more than 2,000 young people have taken part in its ‘2 Young 2 Die’ programme which aims to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on local roads.

Launching the first school programme to feature the new simulator car at Kilkeel High School, Michael Blaney, CEO of Autoline said:

“In 2014 79 people were killed on Northern Ireland’s roads, a worrying 38% increase on the year before. So far this year 63 people have been killed, a third of whom were aged under 25-years.

“That’s an appalling statistic and Autoline is dedicated to doing what it can to improve road safety awareness, particularly amongst young drivers. The workshops already have a powerful impact upon students, but we know that the new simulator car will really impress upon people that just a few seconds of carelessness behind the wheel can ruin a lifetime.”

The ‘2 Young 2 Die’ workshops are presented by an award-winning, former Road Education Officer, Tracey Doherty, who has almost 30-years’ experience. In addition to the simulator car, the workshop includes real life case studies, videos, statistics and discussion-based activities.

Tracey Doherty, Autoline’s ‘2 Young 2 Die’ co-presenter said:“In the last three years we’ve used the workshops as a starting point to have a conversation with young people, helping them think about issues such as speed, alcohol, rural roads and drugs, and the irreversible consequences that a car crash has upon victims, family and friends.

“We also want young people to understand the dangers involved when travelling with a driver who takes unnecessary risks.

“The simulator car is a very sobering and vivid experience which uses hi-tech equipment to reinforce the issues we discuss and drive home the message that careless driving ruins lives.”

Victor Coert, Principal of Kilkeel High School said:

“Road safety is a major issue for both pupils and parents, particularly for young drivers getting behind the wheel for the first time.

“Autoline’s ‘2 Young 2 Die’ session and simulator crash car have made a very powerful impression on our students, giving them invaluable insight into the stark realities of a car crash and advice on how to keep safe on the roads.”

Autoline has also recently launched ChilliDrive, a sophisticated telematics app that turns smart phones into an in-car ‘mentor’ that accurately measures driving skills by analysing speed, acceleration, braking and cornering. Safe drivers are rewarded through lower premiums.

As part of Road Safety Week Autoline is holding an education event for staff at its Newry headquarters and will be hosting a ‘2 Young 2 Die’ workshop at St Louis, Kilkeel. A further 16 workshops with schools across Northern Ireland have already been booked.

For further information about how your school or organisation can participate in the Road Safety Education programme please contact Suzanne Curtis at Autoline Insurance Group on 028 302 59178.