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Students Experience Dangers of Distracted Driving

Distracted Driving Simulator
Sean Medina, a technician with the "Save a Life" Tour," talks with a Penn State York student after he crashes while driving using the distracted driving simulator.
9/15/2011 —

The dangers of texting while driving were made real to students at Penn State York on Wednesday, Sept. 14 when the distracted driving simulator made a stop at the campus. Two simulators were brought to campus by the Student Programming Board in an effort to remind students about the dangers of texting while driving and the impact distractions can have on their driving.

“As a commuter campus, the dangers of texting while driving have the potential to impact every student on campus,” said Jason Kilmer, associate director of student affairs. “We wanted to provide students with a safe and realistic way to experience what can happen to them if they are distracted while driving.”

The visit to Penn State York is part of the “Save a Life Tour” designed for drivers to experience first-hand the devastating effects of distracted driving. The simulators were provided by Kramer Entertainment Inc., and have been touring the country for about a month.

Each simulator is like a driving video game equipped with a steering wheel, brake pedal, and other components of a vehicle. Participants sit in front of a screen that displays the road and then the distractions get started. Drivers receive text messages on an attached iTouch and had to respond while driving. Students who participated hit stop signs, other vehicles, and also crashed. Some students were able to drive while texting but had many close calls and uncomfortable moments on the road.
 
After each crash, images of actual car crashes are displayed along with facts and information about them all with the goal of informing students about the hazards of distracted driving.

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