Simulation Exercise Shows Teens the Dangers Of Texting While Driving

With summer vacation about to start, teens are getting a stark warning about the dangers of texting while driving. A new simulation exercise is designed to show young people what could go wrong if they take their eyes off the road for just a few seconds.


To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:

<iframe src="" style="height: 115px; width: 100%;"></iframe>

carI’m in a car with simulation goggles to see if I can text while driving without getting in a wreck.

As part of the exercise you have to constantly glance back and forth between a computer-generated roadway and the keypad of your phone.

Good thing it was only a simulation.

Come to find out I was on the wrong side the road the entire time.

“Nobody really does well, like, usually, all people have some type of infraction, or they will crash.”  

That’s Dylan Richardson with Peers Awareness, a company that put on simulation events for students to show the dangers of driving while impaired or distracted. This Houston event is sponsored by AT&T. It marks the beginning of the 100 deadliest days for teens to be on the road. That’s the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day. AT&T Regional Vice-President Alice Aanstoos.

“You put a brand new driver — a 16-or-17 year-old-driver behind the wheel with his smart phone — it’s a dangerous combination.”

Aanstoos cites figures showing that it takes about five seconds to look at a text, and that’s plenty of time for an accident to happen.  She says a ride in the simulator is a rude awakening for teens who think they’re experts at texting and driving.

“Because they realize that, again, just one split second from looking away from the road can cause troubles. We haven’t seen a single person actually pass this simulator test without either some sort of accident, a wreck, or some kind of infraction.”

Aanstoos says it’s not just the kids who text while driving. She says adults do it too, and often they’re texting their kids while sitting at a red light.

“I hear a lot of them say it’s okay to just check their phone and read a text at a red light or something because they’re obviously not moving, so it’s okay, right?  But that’s dangerous too.”

The U.S. Department of Transportation says in 2010 about 18% of injury accidents were the result of distracted driving. 

Subscribe to Today in Houston

Fill out the form below to subscribe our new daily editorial newsletter from the HPM Newsroom.

* required


Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

More Information