Simulator Demonstrates Dangers of Texting at the Wheel

Simulator Demonstrates Dangers of Texting at the Wheel

You can access it on your computer too. The simulator sends you texts while you drive through a virtual street.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) It has all the trappings of a racing video game, but the It Can Wait Simulator has a serious twist.

It's a game, yes, but it simulates the difficulties of texting while driving.

"People can safely see how impractical it is to text and drive.  You really can't do it without having an accident and this is a safe way to have that accident and drive that message home," said Michael Chambers from AT&T.

AT&T designed the simulator to sync with your phone, and while driving it will occasionally send you messages.

The point is to respond to those messages without getting into trouble.

And it's markedly difficult to accomplish this.

"Nobody that I've known has gone through the entire game without having a crash or breaking a speed limit or going too slow or crossing the line," Chambers said.

The It Can Wait program is sponsored by AT&T and encourages people to take a pledge that they won't text and drive.

The statistics are on their side: in 2011, 1.3 million car crashes were cell phone related.

It's estimated that your eyes are off the road for an average of five seconds or more when reading and sending texts.

And text messaging can make getting into a crash 23 times more likely.

"Texting while driving has kind of become a socially acceptable habit.  Now we have to break that habit as a society," Chambers said.
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