Simulator Shows Drivers How Distracted Driving Can Result in a Car Accident
Just how dangerous is distracted driving? Many of us are familiar with the scary statistics surrounding car accidents that result from texting while driving, but not all of us have had near-misses to know just how alarming distracted driving can be in practice. According to a recent report from ABC News, AT&T created a virtual reality simulator to show drivers the dangers of distracted driving. The technology is just one aspect of the company’s “It Can Wait” campaign, which urges drivers to avoid smartphone use while behind the wheel. This distracted driving simulator has been set up on university campuses, urging students and faculty to learn more about the risks of talking on a cell phone or texting while driving.
What does the simulator do? According to the article, it takes drivers through “several scenarios, including almost hitting kids in a crosswalk, almost swerving into a car, and finally getting t-boned because they were not looking where they were going.” What causes the distractions? The simulator focuses entirely on the risks of smartphone use in the car, including reading text messages and checking social media updates.
According to AT&T research, about seven out of 10 people admit to using their smartphones while they are driving. A majority of those people are texting, but many are also engaging in activities such as using social media (around 40%) and even browsing the internet (about 3%). The distracted driving simulator aims to show people how quickly smartphone use on the road can result in a deadly crash. After the simulation, members of the AT&T “It Can Wait” campaign ask participants to take a pledge to stop using cellphones while they are behind the wheel. The phone company has been active in this campaign for the last five years, and in that time it has received more than seven million pledges.
Facts and Figures About Distracted Driving
According to a fact sheet from Distraction.gov, the official U.S. government website for distracted driving, more than 3,100 people died in car accidents caused by distracted drivers in 2013 alone, and that number represents an increase from the previous year. What else do you need to know about distracted driving? The website cites the following statistics to show the dangers of distracted driving:
- About 10% of all drivers age 19 and under who died in car accidents were distracted at the time of the crash.
- Drivers age 20-29 make up nearly one-third of all distracted driving fatalities.
- At any given moment during daylight hours, about 660,000 drivers are using smartphones in some way.
- When you send a text, your eyes are off the road for an average of five seconds. If you are traveling at 55 miles per hour, that means you will travel the distance of an entire football field without looking at the road.
- About 25% of teen drivers admit to responding to a text message every time they are behind the wheel.
- Around 20% of teen drivers admit to having extended text conversations each time they drive.
Distracted driving can result in serious and/or fatal traffic collisions. If you or someone you love sustained injuries in a crash caused by a distracted driver, an experienced car accident lawyer can help.