Organization Working to Increase Awareness About Texting While Driving

by Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - UTPB took a literal crash course in texting and driving.

Peers Encouraging Educational Reform Statewide arrived on campus Tuesday morning to bring the dangers of texting behind the wheel into a new light.

"We want to reinforce the points of driving," PEERS Road Manager Alex Basel, said. "No distractions. And really, just keep your focus on the road because a giant car or truck can be a very dangerous thing if it's not controlled correctly."

The test isn't as easy as it looks.

"I got one word on a text and I was already off the road. I think it ended with me hitting a dude on a bicycle," UTPB Accounting Freshman, Thor Prosise, said.

UTPB Marketing Junior, Cymber Solice, had similar words.

"I looked down for, like, not even a second and I crashed."

All you do is strap on the goggles, get ready to text and drive.

Sensors in the gas and brake pedals and the steering wheel control movement, while the goggles show the artificial road, like a video game.

Add texting into the mix, and the result was usually the same.

Even this reporter got 16 tickets before crashing, the worst performance of the day so far.

UTPB students who took the test said afterwards their eyes were opened.

"You look at it at first and you're like 'oh it's not very realistic' but after you do it you're like wow, this can really happen," Prosise said.

"I think I'm really gonna start to be careful when I text or maybe not texting at all," Solis said.

PEERS representatives say that's what the test is about, showing students so they can save lives.