LAURENS COUNTY, S.C. —
A new distracted driving simulator is traveling across South Carolina, giving teens an interactive spin on driver’s education.
Students at Laurens High School got to test it out Tuesday.
“I kind of panicked, even though it wasn’t real,” student Lauren Wilson said.
“Just for one second, when I looked down, I looked back up and I’m already on a sidewalk, hitting people,” student Duane Martin said.
Luckily for these teens, this is only a simulation and a lesson on the consequences of taking their eyes off the road.
PEERS Foundation–a nationwide health and wellness company—is partnering with ZF North America to introduce the one-of-a kind augmented reality system to students across the country.
This week, the organization is visiting eight high schools in South Carolina.
“It’s better for them to do this exercise here than out here in the real world,” PEERS Foundation spokesman Tim Pong said.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.
“I feel like it kind of scares them a little bit,” Wilson said.
While it’s a fun, interactive lesson, students understand this is no laughing matter.
“Just put your phone down. It’s not worth your life or anybody else’s,” Martin said.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2017, 3,166 people were killed in distraction-related crashes.