Students learn dangers of texting and driving in safety of simulator



DELAND, Fla. - Students at DeLand High School learned firsthand about the dangers of texting and driving Thursday.

The students got a hands-on lesson through a simulator.

School officials said they are trying to get as many students into the simulator as possible.

Hundreds of students have been able to sit behind the wheel safely and see how difficult it is to text and drive.

The simulator is a real car, with a computer hooked to it.

The students wear a visor with an animation of the street they're driving, then they are asked to try to text while driving safely at the same time.

Several of the students ended up speeding or violating other traffic laws. Some students crashed in the simulation.

One teen driver expressed surprise over crashing twice in a one-mile stretch of simulated road.

"Were you a little bit surprised at how difficult it was?" WFTV reporter Steve Barrett asked student Sara Wagner.

"Yes, because I actually do drive, but I've never actually texted and driven, so it's a new experience to try out," said Wagner.

Wagner ran over a bicyclist while driving the simulator.

She said she won't be texting and driving at the same time

The simulator operators are traveling to schools in the area and hope to reach about 5,000 students this week.