Great Hang Up: Young drivers learn to "arrive alive"

9:25 AM, Oct 23, 2012   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida -- It's one thing to talk to young drivers about the dangers of picking up a phone behind the wheel.  It's quite another to show them.

On Monday, students at St. Petersburg College got a lesson about distracted drivinig without actually hitting the road.  The Arrive Alive Tour, sponsored by Unite International, came the school's Gibbs campus.

The tour uses a real car, real cell phones but a simulated scene projected in a pair of virtual glasses worn by drivers. The students had to steer the car, avoiding pedestrians and other vehicles, while they were texting and driving.

"It's dangerous," said SPC student Michael Hoeft. "If you're not aware of what you're doing something could happen.  It could happen real quick."

"About two seconds into it I was already swerving and crashing," said Alyssa Haigh. She is a member of the SPC Studetn Government Association that organized the event. "At any second someone can jump out."

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers under the age of 20 have the highest proportion of distracted driving-related fatal crashes.

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