Every generation of teens tends to think that they are invincible. It is part of the exuberance of youth we have all enjoyed. That care-free attitude is much to be envied, unless it leads any young people to assume that the dangers of risky behavior don't apply to them. However, simulation technology gives this generation of teenagers the chance to see how vulnerable they are to the dangers associated with texting and driving.
If you asked most teenagers if they knew that texting and driving was dangerous, they would probably tell you that they did. However, teens texting and driving remains a major problem. The knowledge that they have about the dangers of texting and driving has not influenced their behavior as much as we might hope. Until they experience the consequences first hand, it may be hard to convince them that they should change, but no one wants teenagers to have to get an accident before they make a commitment to keep themselves safe.
That's why a texting and driving simulator is touring college campuses, so students can see first hand how likely they are to get in a car accident if they text while they are driving. The virtual reality environment keeps them safe, but the first hand experience may be more impacting than statistics and PSAs.
According to the WBAL 10 News story, "Simulator Shows Students Dangers Of Texting and Driving"
"Many of the students who tried out the simulator crashed at least once. We're definitely looking at [the students] coming away with a good understanding of, yes, they have text and drove in the past, but hopefully they won't do it anymore because they're not as good as they think they are," said Wright."
Recently, the South Carolina Press Association held a contest for teens to promote AT&T's "It Can Wait" campaign by writing essays and making videos. Hopefully, activities like this contest and the texting while driving simulator will have a large impact on teenagers and young adults. Ideas like these likely have a better chance at engaging teens into understanding the full risks of texting and driving rather than simply telling them not to text and drive. Today's teenagers may be able to shift the trend we see in older adults and the next generation of teenagers, just by being a voice for safe and focused driving.
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