Distracted driving simulator could save teen lives

Posted at 3:46 PM, Mar 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-30 14:52:03-04

Many teen drivers think they can multitask behind the wheel, without compromising their safety.

An event in Sterling Heights proves that driving distracted can be deadly.

Jim Santilli is the CEO of the Transportation Improvement Association.

"Get the message out," he said. "It is important to pay attention when you are on the roadway. You got to keep your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel."

The Transportation Improvement Association and State Farm insurance are teaming up at an AMC theater in Sterling Heights to give 400 high school students a chance to see real-life consequences of texting and driving, and what happens if you don't wear a seatbelt.

State Farm Insurance Agent Nick Morang explained, "When you see it and feel it and touch it like you're doing in the simulator. It will be remembered for longer and that's something  that's not just going to be here today and forgotten. It will be here today and with stay with them for years of driving."

From rollovers, to airbags and virtual roadways, teens are learning the importance to stay focused.

Yesenia Zepeda took her eyes off the road for five seconds to take a selfie while sitting in a simulator.

That was enough time for her to crash.

She said, "Not to get distracted easily and stay focus in the truck and drive."

Yesenia knows this first hand after getting in a minor fender-bender last year while she was sending a text.

"That taught me a lesson not to text and drive or call and drive because in a split of a second in you can die."

The event kicks off Distracted Driving Awareness Month, at which starts in April.