Students receive an eye-opening lesson on texting and driving

Simulator reveals how little control they have

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Some studies indicate that texting while driving is twenty times more dangerous than drinking and driving. Monday some Palm Beach Atlantic University students got a lesson in those dangers.

They were put through a simulator that actually manufactures the conditions of texting while driving.

There was a motion sensor on the gas pedal, and on the brake pedal. The steering headset that they put on also had a motion sensor built in on both sides.

No matter what moves you make physically, it's actually going to pick it up and calibrate it," said Robert Tower the simulator manager. "If they move the steering wheel, if they move their head right or left, it will pick up any and every move they physically make."

Students were instructed to use the gas, brake and steering just like they were driving down the road and to text as well.

"I went in pretty confident because I feel like I am a pretty good texter and I don't get distracted easily," said freshman Julie Hutcheson. "I didn't realize like what I was doing exactly and I easily could of done the same thing that I did in the video by running into someone or veering off the road."

"I thought I was a good texter and driver but apparently I'm not," said junior Scott Schiereck,

Tower said that half the time the simulator shows texting drivers running over people, other times they are side-swiping a parked car or running a light.

"They (texting drivers) don't realize how much it can greatly affect what they are doing and how distracted they really are," Hutcheson said.

"It really opens your eyes to how dangerous this thing rally is," added Schiereck.

"If it's that important you know pull over because, I mean, it's someone life over you telling them when to meet up with you or what not. It's not worth it," said freshman Hannah Speiller.

Palm Beach Atlantic University wanted to show students that driving and texting can be as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than drinking and driving.

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