“I Used To Think I Was Pretty Good At Texting And Driving,” Said Student Using Driving Simulator, Striking Pedestrian

DETROIT (WWJ) – It was a sobering lesson Wednesday for students on the campus of Wayne State University. Allstate brought a driving simulator to the Gullen Mall to teach kids the dangers of texting and driving.

Kristen Katula checked out the simulator, which had her driving at 45 miles an hour then receiving and responding to a text.

“I did horrible, I used to think I was pretty good at texting and driving … this just changed my perspective on it,” said Katula.

She hit a little girl during her simulated driving and texting experience.

Katula says she will not be texting and driving again.

“In that four and a half seconds – doing 45 mph – you sideswiped someone – almost a football field before you even look up from the phone,” described Allstate agent Fred Trumbley of WWJ’s Sandra McNeill attempt at texting behind the wheel.

“It’s tremendously important and it’s an extremely bad habit and it’s something that we don’t think much of because we were talking about, ‘what’s the big deal to glance down at your phone and look at a quick text,’ but the truth of it is, there have been over 3,100 deaths in the last two years directly related to distracted driving,” said Trumbley.

Phillip Lewis, who admits that he texts and drives, tried out the simlutor.

“I was driving horribly,” said Lewis. “I was pretty bad, I was driving about 40 (mph) and ran through a yellow-light and hit two pedestrians. So, that was pretty bad …it really woke me up. I think texting and driving is dangerous.”

Lewis signed a pledge not to text and drive again.

Meanwhile, new research found that 40 percent of teenagers say they have been hit or nearly hit by a car, bike or motorcycle while walking. Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide said it’s simple: tell your kids to put down the phone while walking, use the cross walks and don’t walk while it is dark.

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