On a threshold level, it is safe to assume that most drivers believe that distracted driving is a bad idea; particularly texting while driving. There are enough tragic stories about lives that have been lost based on a single text message to illustrate that point. However, there are arguably countless drivers on Arizona roads who still read and send texts while behind the wheel based on the notion that “it won’t happen to me.”
Unfortunately, it can happen; and that is one of the reasons Allstate is touring the country with the Reality Rides simulator. It is essentially a stationary car that has an internal windshield that acts as a virtual reality simulator that teaches drivers about the dangers of distracted driving. The high definition screen gives drivers a genuine, real life view of what they would face in traffic if they tried to send and receive text messages or engaged in other forms of distracted driving (i.e. talking on the phone, reaching for items, etc).
After driving in the simulator, many drivers indicated that they would change their habits with regard to distracted driving. More than half indicated that they would never text and drive after the experience of being in the simulator. Others said that they would think twice about doing so. Moreover, nearly everyone surveyed indicated that they would not get into a car with someone who drives while distracted.
Surveys are one thing, but actions are different. We hope the impressions revealed are genuine and lead to real change.