Distracted driving simulator a lesson for SE Minnesota teens

Rochester high school students learn about the dangers of distracted driving.

ROCHESTER, Minn. – It’s a dangerous and deadly habit. In 2017, nearly 3,200 people were killed in distracted driving crashes.

“We know we shouldn’t be doing it but we still do,” said Mason Madsen, a senior at Mayo High School in Rochester.

“I think it’s a natural tendency that when your phone rings or you get a text message, you automatically want to pull it out. But I try not to, as much as I can,” said Riek Riek, who is also a senior Mayo High School.

The Peers Foundation brought an augmented reality distracted driving education simulator to the high school to give students a glimpse of what can happen when you look down at your phone, even for just a few seconds.

“The kids sit in the driver’s seat of the car. And we have a sensor on the gas, the break and the steering wheel. And we have them drive throughout a virtual city. And then we try to throw some distractions at them, have them use their phones at some point. Basically just show them how quickly accidents happen once their distracted on their phones,” said Julie Piotrowski, a brand ambassador with the Peers Foundation.