Simulator Proves Texting & Driving Don't Mix

AT&T spreads its 'it can wait' message


By Monique Williams

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- Folks at the University of South Carolina got an up close and personal look at what can happen when people text and drive, and AT&T is hoping its 'No Text on Board, It Can Wait' campaign hits home to persuade motorists to hang up and drive.

"It was really scary."

"I didn't see the car coming."

"I thought it wouldn't be that hard."

These are all statements from licensed drivers who, after experiencing a texting and driving simulation, realized they have a lot to learn about the dangers of distracted driving.

As part of the national 'It Can Wait' campaign, AT&T set up a chair simulator at the University of South Carolina to prove texting and driving don't mix.

You get behind the wheel, experience a 3-d driving simulation and realistic texts that appear on the smartphone attached to the simulation chair. It creates the eyes-off-the-road and hands-off-the-wheel experience while the car is in motion.

'I read it, answered it and I swerved into the other lane and hit the simulated car next to me," said new driver, Carley McClain.

"That was really frightening," said Marissa Baratelle. "I wouldn't want it to happen in real life. I'd probably die."

In fact, according to the National Safety Council, more than
100,000 thousand crashes a year involve drivers who are texting, causing life-changing injuries and deaths.

The 'It Can Wait' movement focuses on educating the public, especially teens, on the dangers of texting and driving.

"Tewnty-three times more likely is a driver to get into a bad accident if texting while driving than if they're not," said AT&T spokesperson, Ted Creech.

The message is alreayd getting through.

When asked if he texted while driving, USC Sophomore Chris Rudd said rarely. However, after going through the simulated driving experience, his response changed.

"I will either pull over or just wait."

It's a decision AT&T hopes everyone makes before it's too late.
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