Carson High School students have ‘It Can Wait’ point drove home by AT&T, Zero Fatalities Nevada
Carson High students had the opportunity to experience the consequences of texting and driving Monday.
As a part of AT&T’s “It Can Wait Campaign” and Zero Fatalities Nevada, the high school students used virtual reality to learn about what could happen when drivers aren’t paying attention to the road.
“The largest age group to be distracted is 18 to 23-year-olds,” said Kevin Moore, Zero Fatalities program manager for the Nevada Of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety. “The number one distraction for teenagers is having another underage teen in the vehicle and the second is cell phone use.”
The campaign set up a cardboard car for several hours at the high school and attached pair of virtual reality goggles and headphones to the kids. The students had the opportunity to “drive” a car down a four-minute simulation, pretending to text and drive. Throughout the simulation, students nearly hit multiple pedestrians, other vehicles and nearly ran a stop sign into traffic, before ultimately running a stop sign and getting T-boned by another vehicle.
“People are giving up the only life they have for something that could wait until they get to their destination to be sent,” said an It Can Wait advocate.
Students had the opportunities to stop by during lunch or their passing period to test out the simulation, and received a free virtual reality set to download the It Can Wait app and show others the simulation and the dangers of texting and driving. The students also signed a pledge to not text and drive.
According to AT&T, seven out of 10 people admit to using their smartphones behind the wheel. Moore said it is an epidemic that is spreading across the country.
The purpose of the simulation is to show teenagers, especially those who are new to or preparing to start driving the dangers of distracted driving in a safe setting.
“Nevada passed the no texting and driving law but you can’t go anywhere without seeing people still on their phones or texting at a stoplight,” Moore said. “I don’t think it has sunk in how dangerous it is.”
The Carson High students got the message. Many ended the simulation vowing to not text and drive.
“It’s scary because that can happen, that one text could end your life,” said sophomore Aadra Reed. “I don’t want to text and drive ever. I felt like I wasn’t going to do it before, but it totally made sure I won’t now.”
The teens agreed it is especially important to showcase to schools because many of the students are about to start driving, if they haven’t already.
“It was cool, it is a good thing for students so they know not to be distracted when driving,” said sophomore Trinity Vollock. She said she is getting her permit next week and the simulation is something that young drivers need to experience.
It Can Wait travels the country, showcasing their message to drivers, and teamed up with Zero Fatalities to bring the campaign to Sparks Outlet Mall last Saturday and Carson High on Monday.
“This is a great opportunity because any company that is putting so much effort is a good thing,” Moore said of the partnership. “We aren’t in competition, we are all out here (to stop texting and driving).”