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Mar 10, 2016
October 7, 2011 www.kirklandreporter.com
BY CARRIE WOOD
Sixteen-year-old Tabitha Lee admitted that she some-times texts while driving.
Only at red lights really, said Tabitha, a Puget Sound
Adventist Academy junior, who got her license last year. But a er this, I probably wont even do that.
She learned quickly the dangers of distracted driving as she texted while running a red light and swerving
into the opposite lane at the school on Sept. 29. She was not in a real car, but in a high-tech simulator that allowed students to experience in a controlled environment the potential consequences of texting and drunken driving
as part of Unites Arrive Alive Program.
e nationwide tour, which brings health and wellness programs to high school and college campuses, also uses an impact video and a number of other resources to heighten awareness to the dangers and consequences of distracted driving.
It was sobering just to see the real footage of actual people who are our age get-ting into accidents just be-cause of a drink, said Tabitha of the video, which shows an injured teenager taken to an
emergency room as the result of texting while driving.
During the program at
Puget Sound Adventist Academy, 9th through 12th graders watched the video and then went to the parking lot to use the simulator. Driv-ers donned goggles that show them a virtual road. ey steer like theyre in a regular car and sensors translate movements to the screen.
Taylor Braunworth, a 10th grader, drove normally at rst. But then his cell phone went o with a text. He swerved in and out of the turn lane as he texted, I will not text and drive.
Its de nitely tricky, said Taylor, who recently got his permit. e steering is way over-sensitive, but I get the
Students learn dangers of distracted driving...todays parent
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Puget Sound Adventist Academy senior German Mendoza texts while driving in a simulator down a virtual road in the schools parking lot on Sept. 29. CARRIE WOOD, Kirkland Reporter
[ more DRIVING page 17 ]
October 7, 2011www.kirklandreporter.com
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point. Theres definitely a real comparison you can get yourself into real trouble.
Students standing outside the simulator watched on a separate screen as drivers speeded down virtual road-ways, plowing into pedestri-ans and other cars.
Heather Schlaman, an 11th grader, was handed a mock ticket, showing her citations for swerving and going under the speed limit. The driving in the simulator seemed harder than driving in a normal car, said Heather, who got her license last year and only texted once at a red light. But the texting while driving was really hard.
She learned to always stay focused on driving and dont try to do anything else because it could end really badly.
John Beddoe, also an 11th
grader, said it was difficult trying to concentrate on driv-ing while fumbling for his phone and texting. I dont do a lot of texting, so it was kind of two new experiences for
me, he said of the simulator. People really need to watch what theyre doing. Pay atten-tion to the road.
[ driving from page 16]
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