A group of teen drivers were able to experience first-hand what can happen when texting while driving. A Teen Safe Driving Summit was held recently at the South Strabane Township fire hall in Washington County, Pennsylvania, where a state-of-the-art virtual reality simulator provided a wakeup call for teens who recently received their driver’s license. The simulator; as well as other workshops on seat belt use, distracted driving and driving under the influence of alcohol; reminds teens that one bad decision can result in devastating consequences.
One teen, a 16-year-old sophomore at Ringgold High School, has no intention of ever using her cell phone while driving, especially after she had the opportunity to experience the TXT driving simulator, where she was hooked up to a virtual reality headset that is connected to a television screen. Once hooked up, the teenager used her cellphone to text while operating the virtual car, including steering, accelerating and stopping. While connected to the driving simulator, she crossed the lane line several times and eventually drove off the road and crashed. As a result, the high school sophmore commented on how difficult it is to focus and that she will never pick up her cell phone while driving.
According to Jay Ofsanik, safety press coordinator for PennDOTs District 12, the simulator is providing a valuable opportunity to help change teen driving behavior. Being able to understand the dangers of texting while driving, without the real life consequences provides a valuable, unique learning experience for young drivers.
In a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, distracted driving occurs more in the under 20 age group than any other age demographic. Thirty-four percent of teens between the age of 16-17 say that they text while driving, and over half say they talk on a cell phone while driving. These statistics translate into serious car accidents injuries and fatalities. In 2008 alone, driver distraction was responsible for 5,870 deaths and 515,000 injuries. It is not entirely clear whether these statistics are a result of teen’s texting more than other age groups, or if it is a lack of driving experience. Regardless the reason, instilling the message about the dangers of distracted driving at an early age will only help teens become more responsible drivers.
If you have been injured in a car accident by a distracted driver, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer. The Philadelphia personal injury law firm of Galfand Berger, LLP, has been helping victims of car accidents claim compensation for their injuries for over 65 years. To speak to one of our highly skilled Philadelphia personal injury lawyers, contact us at 1-800-222-USWA, or complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia, Reading, and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, allowing us to serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including the regions of Allentown, Harrisburg and Reading.