AT&T Develops a Virtual Reality Program to Deter Drivers from Distracted Driving
Accidents can be very nasty and the injuries and even death of the victims always seem much more painful when you realize the cause of the accident was something that could easily have been avoided. Through virtual reality, a simulation of an actual car accident can be enacted where you will see shattered glass flying everywhere, the blast of a horn, the explosions, the eruption of the airbag and all of the smoke everywhere. This simulation is of an accident caused by a driver texting while driving and you can experience what it might feel like with virtual reality from the comfort of your home. That experience is bound to put the fear of God into you and deter you from texting while driving.
The “It Can Wait” Program.
The distracted driving simulator from AT&T makes this experience all too real and you can see the actual consequences of a seemingly inconsequential act like testing while driving which many of us are guilty of. With the help of the Samsung virtual reality headset, the “it can wait” app will take the viewers on a ride that simulates the worst case scenario of an accident.
With the cooperation of the peninsula medical center in Salisbury, AT&T was able to recruit residents and the center at Salisbury mall to give the simulation a shot. The virtual reality headsets were used throughout Maryland to educate and enlighten people on the immense dangers of distractions like texting while driving.
Although it is not known exactly how many accidents are as a direct result of texting and driving, the National Safety Council estimates that more over 200,000 were as a result in 2012. According to another research carried out by AT&T, seven in 10 drivers are engaged in one smartphone activity or the other while driving.
“Think about what that means,” said Daniel Langan, director of public affairs for AT&T. “Seven out of every 10 cars on the road have someone checking social media feeds, taking selfies, watching movies.
“We want to do everything we can to make sure people in Maryland and everywhere understand that it can wait.”
“IS IT OVER?”
There is no age limit to the people who engage in all of these distractions while driving. It is not restricted to just young drivers but older ones too. Given the nature of the world now and how we are all tied to our mobile devices, this is bound to be the case across all ages, genders, nationality or race.
With the “100 deadliest days” for teen drivers approaching (between Memorial Day and Labor Day), a technological, creative approach to curbing distracted driving could make an impact, said Kari Cheezum, trauma program manager at PRMC.
“It takes about 5 seconds to send or receive a text message,” she said. “At highway speeds, that’s about 300 yards the car travels. That’s a pretty far distance for a driver not to be paying attention.”
The simulator puts the viewer in the driver seat and he or she can look around to explore the scene before him and all the dangers abound without any ability to do anything about it. Before the actual accident is simulated the viewer will experience so many close calls and eventually the main crash is simulated and the driver dies. This experience in of itself is enough deterrent for anybody who engages in the act of distracted driving.