By John Anderson

 

One of the simulators showing the 3D screens including mirrors. The radio was recently added as another challenge for the drivers. ©2016 John R. Anderson

One of the simulators showing the 3D screens including mirrors. The radio was recently added as another challenge for the drivers. ©2016 John R. Anderson

 

During the week of September 19th, Arbella Insurance Foundation’s Distractology driving simulator sat in the Auburn High School driveway to train the school’s young operators. Each day, about 18 students visited the trailer and tried to beat the simulator, a rather difficult task. Between the simulator and the well-timed instructions from Nick Prpich, students routinely crashed while distracted or not taking in the full picture of the road in front of them.

In one simulation, the driver is in the right lane approaching an intersection. Due to a truck in the left lane, he cannot see the entire intersection, and he has a green light. A pedestrian steps from in front of the truck and is in the cross walk. Most drivers hit the pedestrian by failing to read the potential hazard and slow down. When a crash occurs, all three LCD monitors graphically shatter, a consequence that makes the driver remember the moment for sure.

 

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Senior Luke Matthews attempts to send a text as he rounds a curve. He crashed as expected. ©2016 John R. Anderson

Senior Luke Matthews was in the seat when Auburn Mass Daily stopped in. He has had his license for over a year, and he certainly was cautious with his accelerations. During one exercise, Luke was instructed to text a message while going around a curve. Despite a speed of 37mph in a 55 zone, he still crashed. After the session, Luke said, “The system is tough, but it makes you realize more about driving.”

The Distractology week was sponsored by the Braley&Wellington Insurance Group which has offices in Worcester, Leominster, Millbury and Auburn. Their local agent is the Hernan B. Conant Agency at 206 Southbridge St. All offices represent Arbella.