Addabbo to host distracted driving awareness event at Richmond Hill High School next month

distracted driving
Photo by Anthony Medina

State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo. Jr. will be giving motorists and pedestrians a chance next month to learn first-hand about the consequences of distracted driving through the use of virtual reality and driving simulations.

An interactive multi-agency distracted driving event, hosted by Addabbo, will take place on Wednesday, Apr. 10, inside the Richmond Hill High School, on 89-30 114th St.

Participants will get the chance to experience virtual reality crash simulations, the dangers of driving while under the influence, and a seat belt convincer machine to better understand how distracted driving leaves life-changing repercussions.

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 3,522 people were killed by distracted drivers in 2021. Drivers found on the phone, texting, eating—or distracted by other forms—significantly increase the chances of deadly crashes, statistics revealed.

Addabbo says he’s bringing the interactive event to Richmond Hill as a means to show residents the dangers of driving while distracted.

“I am not offering a class in what not to do, but rather allowing people to truly experience impairment and distraction using the senses of touch, sight, and sound,” Addabbo said. “In doing so, hopefully, it will get people to think twice about being preoccupied behind the wheel.”

One of the educational tools at the interactive event includes the seat belt convincer, which is used to simulate a low-impact collision at speeds of 5-10 mph and to encourage seat belt usage.

An impaired driving simulation will also utilize goggles that distort vision and give the wearer the perception of an impaired person.

The agencies bringing innovative experiences and technology to the interactive event include the NYPD, the New York City Department of Transportation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, and the New York State Police.

For more information on the distracted driving event at Richmond Hill High School, residents are encouraged to call Addabbo’s Office at 718-738-1111.