Distractology 101 at Hingham High


Matt Dwyer

The arcade-style set up creates a driving experience for participants.

Matt Dwyer, Photography Editor

This past week The Distractology Trailer was at our school, thanks to Arbella Insurance and SADD. The Distractology Trailer offered an opportunity for students to learn firsthand the dangers of texting and driving through a driving simulation. Inside the trailer that was stationed in the close lot last week were two arcade-style video game set-ups, each designed to recreate the driver’s seat of  car inside the trailer. They consisted of a seat in front of a mini-dashboard and steering wheel, pedals below, and a visual component spread over three monitors above the dashboard.

Students, who could sign up to participate during a study, although only if they have their learner’s permit or license, would be provided with the experience of driving a car as a road appeared on a screen above them. While driving as if playing an arcade game, the Distractology employee stationed in the trailer would instruct the student to take out his or her cell phone and attempt to text. The student always failed to accomplish this without crashing the car or hitting something. “You can’t stop for things you can’t see,” the computer program would say after a collision.

While we were lucky enough to have it at our school, Distractology proved to be a great resource to educate the student body about the dangers of distracted driving, and encourage teenagers to drive safely.