Augmented reality driving simulator shows Owosso students dangers of distracted driving

OWOSSO (WJRT) (02/04/19) — Distracted driving. It’s something many drivers are guilty of doing whether they realize it or not. But a relatively new program making its rounds to schools across Michigan is showing young drivers just how dangerous it is — even before they get behind the wheel.

Students in Debra Clevenger’s health class at Owosso High School today are getting a taste of what it’s like to drive distracted, without actually driving.

“What I hope to have the kids learn is good decision making and so we talk about the pros and the cons of decision making, and when they actually get to experience it, they might realize that texting and driving isn’t a very good decision,” Clevenger said.

Students had the chance to try out a augmented reality driving simulator, to see what it’s actually like to drive distracted.
We spoke with one student who says it’s a lot harder than it looks.

“I’m very distracted, I would not feel confident driving on the street like this ever, and I just crashed again,” said senior Maddie Krantz.

The program is put on by GM and the Peers Foundation, and is meant to bring about awareness of distracted driving, and the potential consequences.

“Some kids don’t drive at all yet, so the fact that they get to experience something they don’t know, they may think about it ahead of time, before they actually get their driver’s license and get to get out on the roads,” Clevenger said.

Josh Jackson is with the PEERS Foundation and he says the more students he can get to experience the simulator, the better.

“A lot of them get really shocked because they don’t realize how quick it happens. They look down at their cell phone, and next thing you know they hit a bike or hit a tree, and it shows them, and it’s better we have them crash in here than out on the road.”