North Central News

A hands-on lesson in texting and driving

New data shows that Arizona has a roughly 17 percent higher rate of texting while driving than states with statewide bans. To drive home the message and these new findings, AT&T brought a virtual reality simulator to Madison Highland Prep on April 18 to offer students a virtual experience of what can happen when you drive and use your phone.

Simon Bowen, a freshman at Madison Highland Prep, test-drives AT&T’s virtual reality simulator (submitted photo).

Simon Bowen, a freshman at Madison Highland Prep, test-drives AT&T’s virtual reality simulator (submitted photo).

AT&T representatives were at MHP, a STEM charter school in Phoenix’s Madison Elementary School District, with a texting-while-driving simulator to spread the word about the dangers of distracted driving. Using the virtual reality technology, students had the opportunity to experience firsthand how dangerous it is to take their eyes off the road. The simulation showed the consequences of distracted driving, including getting into a car accident. According to AT&T’s research, 7-in-10 people engage in other smartphone activities while driving, like checking email, posting to social, and even snapping selfies.

The simulator visit was part of a six-year campaign called “It Can Wait.” So far, the campaign, which began in 2010 with the goal of saving lives and preventing car accidents related to cell phone use, has garnered over 8 million pledges from people to not text while driving.

During the event, many Madison Highland Prep students took the “It Can Wait” pledge to not text while driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driving while texting is more dangerous than driving while intoxicated. Arizona does not have a ban on texting and driving.

For information about “It Can Wait” and the dangers of texting and driving, visit http://www.itcanwait.com/all.

 

 

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