JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –
Car crashes are the leading cause of death among 15- to 20-year-olds.
A teacher at the Bolles School came up with a realistic way to show her students how easy it would be for them to become a statistic.
Students at Bolles sat behind the wheel of a simulator Thursday to see how dangerous it can be to text and drive.
“I think it’s a wake-up call for a lot of kids who have done it so far,” a student named Malakai said.
After sitting in the simulator and trying to drive while answering a text, Malakai wasn’t the only student who felt shaken up.
“I hit a pedestrian while I was in the little simulator,” a student named Terrell said.
“Texting while driving is a huge, huge mistake,” a student named Danielle added.
Piper Moyershad, Bolles’ director of student activities, saw the startling statistics of teen deaths that revolve around car accidents, and the statistics of crashing because of distracted driving. That’s when she decided to bring the simulator on campus so the students could experience the consequences firsthand.
“At the very least, it will open their eyes to how quickly things can change and get beyond your control,” Moyershad said. “Kids think they’re invincible, and this is a nice safe way to show them that they’re not.”
Students had several reactions to the simulator.
“It’s pretty tough, you know, because people usually don’t think about it,” Malakai said. “I guess when they’re texting and driving, they don’t think about the consequences, but when you hit that pedestrian it’s pretty scary.”
“It’s probably a habit and they aren’t going to stop, but I know by the videos I just watched it’s really heartbreaking and sad, and they should learn from other people’s mistakes,” a student named Grace said.
The students decided after seeing exactly how their decisions behind the wheel can hurt others there are other ways to text.
“Get somebody to text it for you just like my mom does,” Grace said. “Do something smart for a change.”
“I’ll wait. I’ll pull over before I start driving and texting,” Malakai said.
The simulator will on campus for another day.