Driving simulator shows dangers of texting and driving - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Driving simulator shows dangers of texting and driving

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -- Despite the new laws, in both Nebraska and Iowa, some of you may still be tempted to text in the driver's seat.

And while you think you may have the "skills" to pull it off... that could be a deadly mistake.

The concept is simple, put a person behind the wheel of this simulator, give them a phone and throw obstacles in their way.

Wednesday that person was me.

"In this scenario we will show you how easily it is to become distracted significantly," says Western Iowa Tech driving instructor Perry Nelson.

So before I knew it, it was time to strap in and begin.

"Ok, I am ready to go I have got my phone set on loud, and I am going to put it in my pocket next thing is starting the car," says Forrest.

And we're off. Driving at a cool 30 I thought I was in control. My first obstacle, a stopped school bus.

"Do I signal," says Forrest.

Navigated, no problem, but then the texting starts.

 

"I got my phone going off," says Forrest.

With one hand on the wheel and the other on my phone, I still thought I had this, but while I was texting I wasn't looking especially in side mirror. I hit a pedestrian.

"A pedestrian walked directly into the path of your tractor trailer and was struck and killed," says Nelson.

But anyone could struggle driving a semi for the first time, so we reset, now with an SUV and no excuses, I began again.

"Round two right,"says Forrest.

Things were easy at first but, the weather took a turn for the worse, and my phone wouldn't leave me alone.

"My news director just sent me a message saying I'm late," says Forrest.

Cruising at 60 in sleet I need to watch the road, but instead, I start to slide. Failed again.

"Your driving was poor, overall I would say you were significantly affected," says Nelson.

That's a nice way of saying in real life I could have, not only killed myself, but someone else too. That was it for me. It was a wild ride, one I won't soon forget. Thankfully it wasn't real.

Online Reporter: Forrest Saunders

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