Distracted Driving Program at USF Poly

High-tech simulator will be used to illustrate dangers.

LAKELAND | A program being offered on the campus of the University of South Florida Polytechnic will give students a simulated experience to educate them about the dangers of texting or drinking while driving.

The Arrive Alive Tour from UNITE, a health and wellness organization, will be at the Lakeland Academic Center building on Wednesday from noon to 6 p.m. A high-tech simulator, impact video, and other educational tools will be used to show how dangerous it is to send text messages on cell phones while driving. With the simulator, students will experience the potential consequences of distracted or drunken driving while in a controlled environment.

According to the organization, cell phone usage is one of the most commonly recognized driving distractions. About 89 percent of all Americans have a cell phone, the group said, citing a wireless organization’s statistics.

And, the group says, drivers under 20 years old have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A lack of driving experience can contribute to critical misjudgments if they become distracted, and more texts messages are sent out in that age group than any other.