Texting and driving simulator shows risks of distracted driving
WINNIPEG – It’s a virtual world that Manitoba Public Insurance hopes will save lives in the real world.
“We know that distracted driving is a major road safety issue. It’s an issue in Manitoba and all across Canada and the United States,” says Keith Ward with MPI.
Your Last Words is the name of the campaign which tries to send the message to teens that a text isn’t worth risking your life. Part of the campaign is a new texting and driving simulator.
It will be brought to events and driving schools all across the province to help young drivers understand the dangers of distracted driving. There is also an online version that will be incorporated into the driving education curriculum. The simulator sends real texts to the drivers cellphone while they’re at the wheel.
“It was key to us that the user had their own cell phone in their hand. So it wasn’t like a cell phone popped up on screen and that would distract them,” says Kevin Glasier, who helped design the simulator. “It is as close to a real experience as possible.”
Once the test is over, the driver can see their errors and choose to share the pledge to not text and drive on social media.
Almost 5000 Manitobans are caught using a handheld device while driving each year. One in four deaths on the road is a result of distracted driving.