Students Try To Top Distracted Driving Simulator 4-08-2011 - WNEM TV 5

Students Try To Top Distracted Driving Simulator 4-08-2011

Local students are getting a chance to put their distracted driving skills to the test in a safe environment where they don’t put everyone else on the road at risk.
Neil Stokes, an injury prevention specialist, says distracted drivers put everyone around them in danger.
He's teamed up with Covenant HealthCare to give local students a chance to experience distracted driving, without the danger.
The simulator goes through the dangers of impaired driving as well as distracted driving, things such as using a cell phone and other distractions that may happen in a car.
“If you wreck, it actually goes through the scenario of what would have happened,” said Stokes. “It takes you to the hospital, or it takes you to court or a police officer is right there and goes through the ticket.”
The simulator has a steering wheel, an accelerator and brake pedal. It also is equipped with a monitor which gives students simulations of different distracted driving scenarios.
“We encourage them to see how dangerous it is to text and drive on the simulator, and I have not seen anybody pass yet because they all wreck,” said Stokes.
The simulator will be used in conjunction with the distracted driver program, and then it will be taken to local schools to teach the dangers of distracted driving.
“Overwhelmingly, every single output we get from the simulator is [that] people did not realize it was that serious and they are surprised how bad it could really be,” said Stokes. “If we can raise awareness, even for people in their 40s and 50s who think they can reach for the change they dropped, distracted driving is dangerous.”
Next week is the Covenant Kid’s Telethon, which will fund more simulated driving programs in the area.
You can catch the live telethon on TV5 on April 16 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
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