Danger of distracted driving displayed

Virtual reality simulator at ICTC drives home point


Posted: Thursday, October 2, 2014 12:59 am

All Amanda Garcia did was pick up her smartphone, and she had an “accident” on Indian Capital Technology Center’s Muskogee campus.

Garcia, a 19-year-old ICTC nursing student, tested her texting skills Wednesday inside a simulator at ICTC. The simulator was part of the Arrive Alive Tour, presented by the health and wellness organization Unite.

The simulator used virtual reality headsets to show participants what could happen when they text while driving, said Arrive Alive team leader Tyler Herbstreith. Participants “drive” a parked vehicle and the headsets show what happens when they drive, he said.

“They pull their cell phones out and try to text,” Herbstreith said. “Most people end up crashing.”

Once Garcia got used to the virtual reality, she got out her phone. Then the virtual reality headset showed her having an accident.

Garcia, a Coweta resident, said she knows not to text while driving.

“The only reason I have a phone in the car is to have GPS or to call someone if I have a wreck,” she said.

She said she does get distracted when she checks her GPS.

Herbstreith said distracted driving increases the possibility of having an acciden