Local Students Learn Dangers of Distracted Driving

By: TIm Elliott Email
By: TIm Elliott Email

Distracted driving has become a major problem in recent years. Such problem in fact that it became illegal to text and drive in Wisconsin two years ago. That's why students at a local high school are urging their peers to put down the cell phones before they get behind the wheel.

Distracted driving is described as any activity that diverts a person's attention away from the main task of driving. It's a dangerous practice that these students are trying to avoid. Oregon High School students are being distracted on purpose.

AAA and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation have teamed up to bring a driving simulator to teens.

“This is not very easy,” said 15-year-old Jarrett Cina who has his learner's permit.

They show students what it's like to drive and text at the same time.

“The leading cause of death among teens are car crashes and the main cause of those crashes is distracted driving,”

Roy Hinz is the simulator instructor. He says the message is simple

“Let's put the phones away!”

According to distraction.gov, in 2010, nearly 3,100 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver

“When you're texting, you can't focus,” added Jarrett.

“Oh, there's a kid on a skateboard,” noticed 16-year-old Yanique Rowe said as she tried out the simulator. Rowe recently got her license.

“It was exciting,”

She's a new driver intent on keeping her eyes on the road and staying out of harm's way.

“I think no one should drive and text,”

“If you're looking at the simulators here, as soon as they start texting, they start weaving and that's because they are taking their eyes off the roads,” said Hinz

These driving simulators may not be the real deal but they definitely give these students a good idea of what can happened if they take their eyes off the road if only for a second.

Also according to distraction.gov, 11% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.

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