Dangers of texting and driving

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(KTSF by Sean Au)

Texting has become the top mode of communication among teenagers today. Some teen drivers already have the bad habit of texting and driving. Police wish to educate teens about the dangers of texting while driving before they start driving.

A group of students from San Francisco’s Gateway High School give it a shot of texting while driving in this virtual reality simulator. While behind the wheels, the students try to send a short text of “I’ll be there.” Some of them drive their car onto the sidewalk; others crash into cars parked by the side of the street.

One student talks about his experience, “It was scary. It was out of control. I felt like I was going to crash. I can kill myself, driving and texting, so I won’t do that while I’m driving.” Another says, “It is kind of scary because I was going off to the side and hitting animals.”

San Francisco Police Department’s Traffic Company Captain Denis O’Leary says, “You become distracted, texting while driving has become a dangerous concern in San Francisco, and we are trying to educate the teens that are starting to drive.”

Giving it a go, even at 25 mph, it is difficult to keep your eyes on the road ahead and the cell phone in my hand. After two tries, I drove over the speed limit three times, drove over to the opposite lane three times, and crashed twice.

A study from AT&T reveals that every text takes about 5 seconds to compose and send. If one is driving at 55 mph, taking your eyes off the road would mean that you are driving with your eyes closes for the entire length of a football field. SFPD says as the 100 deadliest days for teens on the road, between Memorial Day and labor Day, are about to begin, the police will step up enforcement of reckless driving behavior.

(Copyright 2012 KTSF. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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