Don’t drive ‘intexticated:’ Simulation helps students experience dangers of distracted driving

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Educators launched a new hands-on experience Wednesday in Fairborn.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Educators launched a new hands-on experience Wednesday in Fairborn.

Part of the kickoff put News Center 7 consumer reporter Rachel Murray in the backseat as a teen drove around while texting. The goal was to use that real-life interaction to help students see and feel just how unsafe distracted driving can be.

Fairborn High School student Evelyn Oktavec said she never texts and drives. But she did on Wednesday.

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The simulation was part of AAA’s new campaign to fight deadly distracted driving: “Don’t drive intoxicated. Don’t drive intexticated.”

A CareFlight medical helicopter was there to drive home the point about the risk of injury and death from a distracted driving crash.

Also there was Crystal Horne, the victim of a 2002 crash caused by a driver distracted by their cellphone.

“My car was rear-ended. I ended up having five shoulder surgeries,” Horne said.

Local officials spoke and signed this pledge to put their cellphones away behind the wheel, including Principal Amy Gayheart, which was met with student applause.

“I feel like I’m tied to this,” she said. “I am going to sign the pledge card today. I’m probably going to have to put it in the back end to be honest with you, to keep my hands off of it.”

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Cindy Antrican, public affairs manager for AAA Miami Valley in Dayton, said adults need to set the right example for teens.

“We don’t want to point the finger and say that it’s a teen problem. We have got to get in a point in our society where it is not acceptable,” Antrican said.

Oktavec said her simulation experience proved to her that any text message can wait.

“Not very safe. Felt like I could hit anything,” she said.

AAA recommends putting your cellphone where you can’t reach it, either in the back seat or the trunk.

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Also, download and use apps that will turn off notifications while you are driving.

To sign the "Don't Drive Intexticated" pledge, click here.

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