Students try texting and driving on simulator

Students at Washington High in San Francisco drove a simulator while learning why they shouldn't text and drive.
October 8, 2013 7:31:32 PM PDT
We've all heard it before -- "Don't text and drive." On Tuesday, a group of San Francisco high school students got the message by getting behind the wheel -- kind of.

Students at Washington High in San Francisco drove a simulator while learning why they shouldn't text and drive. While driving around, they received random text messages that, for the experiment, they had to respond to.

"The average text message takes about 4.6 seconds to look down at, which at 55 miles per hour, is the length of a football field," explained instructor Griffin Hagler.

AT&T is behind the texting and driving simulator in an effort to show students around the nation the consequences of doing both. "It's not even your fault. Some other guy can cause you to do something, but you're not ready for it," student Ross Baba said.

That's exactly what happened to one student. A driver going in the other direction lost control but because the student looked down to check his phone, he wasn't able to react quickly enough. Even the school's principal could not do both safely.

But of course, none of it was real. So, students were also shown a compelling video showing real people whose lives have been affected by those who text and drive, including a boy paralyzed in a crash that killed three others.

"Texting and driving, it can change your life if they get in an accident, so it's good that we can interact with them showing them that it's not all about law enforcement. It's about them making choices," said SFPD Officer Eric Chang.


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