A feature story in the Springfield Republican covered the recent visit to East Longmeadow High School of the Distractology 101 driving simulator that was developed by the Arbella Insurance Foundation and the Human Performance Laboratory at the UMass Amherst College of Engineering. Donald Fisher, former head of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, helped develop the driving simulator program that tours high schools across the state and beyond. Distractology 101 has now educated well over 10,000 new drivers in how to avoid accidents due to distractions.
In the past, Distractology 101 has been featured on the Today Show, the Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers, TV shows, and websites. The Distractology 101 program brings driving simulators to high schools across southern New England to teach students about the dangers of distracted driving, especially texting while driving. You can find out more about the Distractology 101 program and its touring schedule at www.DistractU.com.
Among other lessons, the program teaches novice drivers how to pay attention at the steering wheel and forgo using electronic devices. In the past, Dr. Fisher said that his research shows that a novice driver is six times less likely to look for hidden hazards while driving than an experienced driver, and even less likely to be paying attention while texting or talking on the cell phone.
“We teach them with hands-on education about the dangers of texting and driving,” Distractology 101 program coordinator Danny Corcoran said. (November 2015)