As part of AT&T’s ongoing “It Can Wait” program, teens in Washington D.C. last week got to experience firsthand the dangers of texting while driving – without having to suffer the real consequences. The Texting While Driving Simulator was featured during a teen safety fair in the nation’s capital, in an effort to discourage teens from engaging in distracted driving. The simulator takes place in a real car – the teens then put on a pair of simulator goggles to show a virtual road in the same vein as the old driving simulators once used during driver training courses. Teens are then asked to send a text while trying to drive – which ends in one of many tragic results that can happen in the real world if drivers aren’t careful.
The simulator is the latest part of AT&T’s “It Can Wait” program, an effort to stamp out texting while driving through raising awareness among teenagers. The program has spawned a documentary, an ongoing pledge for people to sign against texting while driving, and an app called DriveMode that helps drivers refrain from texting.
With consequences like hitting a pedestrian, the simulator experience could jolt more than a few teens out of their bad habits. Better that it happens on the virtual road than in the real one.