Texting simulator shows dangers of distracted driving

File: Driving photo

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Texting while driving is banned in 44 states, including Indiana. But distracted driving still leads to thousands of crashes and motor vehicle deaths every year.

To show the dangers, AT&T is now using a texting simulator

“If you’re texting, sending a text, reading a text you’re putting yourself and all those around you at risk,” said David Lewis of AT&T, who brought the simulator to a northside bowling alley Saturday afternoon. “This simulator is a great example of what happens if you are irresponsible on the road.”

While receiving texts, the simulator required the drivers to stay in their lane, maintain their speed and try not crash.

“I thought I’d be better at it than my results I was actually pretty surprised,” said Marlin Bunnell who’s been driving for two years.

“There’s just too much going on,” said Alexis Martin who has her learner’s permit. “It was really hard, I couldn’t look at my phone and drive at the same time, I was swerving through the lanes.”

Indiana banned texting while driving in 2011, and state Senator Pete Miller is now looking to ban using hands-held devices altogether while driving.

He introduced Senate Bill 204 in January, it’s still sitting in committee.

The latest data available from the U.S. Department of Transportation shows in 2012 nearly 3,400 people were killed in crashes when at least one driver was distracted, another 421,000 people were injured.

“They mean no harm. No one means any harm when they’re texting, but at the end of the day they are not only risking their own lives they’re risking the lives of those around them who chose not to text,” said Lewis. “It can wait  and we’re very serious about that message.”

For more information on texting and driving or to try the simulator online, click here.

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