A new traveling simulator released by AT&T highlights just how dangerous texting and driving can be. The new technology is a virtual reality simulator meant to highlight the danger involved with using your smartphone while driving.
AT&T visited the Wisconsin State Capitol last Wednesday to promote the simulator. The experience is part of AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign.
The campaign urges drivers to keep their eyes on the road and not on their phones.
The “It can Wait” campaign website urges consumers to take out their phone and look at the last text they sent. It then ask “would that text be worth dying for?”
“Sending or looking at that text, tweet, post or email from behind the wheel can be deadly. In fact, studies show that those who text while driving are much more likely to be in a crash,” the website reads.
Wisconsin AT&T officials say research shows 7 in 10 people engage in smartphone activities while driving, an article posted by WKOW reads.
“You will very quickly realize while you’re doing [the simulation] that your ability to drive as you had been without texting is completely compromised,” Wisconsin AT&T President Scott VanderSanden said in the article.
Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving, according to distraction.gov. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety.
These types of distractions include:
- Using a cell phone or smartphone
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Reading, including maps
- Using a navigation system
- Watching a video
- Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player
But, because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction.
The best way to end distracted driving is to educate all Americans about the danger it poses.
In 2014, 3,179 people were killed, and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. involving distracted drivers. Ten percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes.
The percentage of drivers text-messaging or visibly manipulating handheld devices increased from 1.7 percent in 2013 to 2.2 percent in 2014.
Those numbers are likely higher today.
Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded.