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Published February 07, 2013, 04:27 PM

Red River Students Experience Distracted Driving Simulation

Today a group of Red River High School students got to see firsthand the dangers of texting and driving. A virtual reality driving simulator gave teens the chance to experience distracted driving situations, and many realized just how hard it can be.

Today a group of Red River High School students got to see firsthand the dangers of texting and driving. A virtual reality driving simulator gave teens the chance to experience distracted driving situations, and many realized just how hard it can be.

I had a chance to try this out myself and I can tell you it's not as easy as you may think to stay on the roads. It was a big wake up call to some who say they often text while they are driving.

Tyler Salzwedel, Peer Awareness, "You basically get in the car, you fake drive it, as you get going down the road we have you text a random sentence." After several students made their way down the virtual road, I decided to give it a try myself. It was only a few seconds before I managed to crash. At the end of your driving experience, a display pops up to tell you how many times you were speeding, going over the median and if you hit anything. And let me tell you, I was not alone.

That is the point of the whole exercise, to raise awareness. Since the texting ordinance went into effect the Grand Forks Police Department has given out 36 citations and two warnings. Events like this put on by AT&T, Safe Kids and the North Dakota Safety Council are aimed at bringing those numbers down. Students I talked with say they have texted while driving and this is an eye opener. The driving simulator was also at Northwood High School today.

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