Simulation highlights the dangers of distracted driving

An event at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Thursday taught students about the dangers of distracted driving.

Organizers used a new, state-of the-art simulator to takes drivers through different exercises.

They say they want to warn people about three major distractions.

  • The first is visual, when people take their eyes off the road.
  • The second is manual, when people take their hands off the wheel.
  • The third is cognitive, when your mind wanders elsewhere.

In the simulation, the driver is prompted to complete a series of tasks, such as reading a text message or reaching into the back seat to get a bottle of water.

In almost every instance, experts say, the simulation ends in a car crash, hitting a pedestrian, running off the road and/or another dangerous event.

They say texting is the worst distraction because it includes all three elements.

“It’s really just to remind them it only takes a few seconds. The average text takes about 4.6 seconds and when you put that in scope of driving at 55 mph thats like driving through the length of a football field blindfolded, and when you put that into perspective, it’s really scary,” said coordinator Hannah Hyun.

In Hawaii, you can face a minimum $250 fine if you’re caught texting behind the wheel.

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