Car Simulator Shows Consequences of Texting & Driving

Josh Navarro
NewsWest 9

ODESSA- It's not the best idea to try to multi-task while you're driving, and when it involves texting, the consequences can be fatal. However despite numerous warnings, drivers across the Basin still do it. NewsWest 9 discovered it may be even more dangerous than many people realize.

Texting and driving everyone does it, but did you know more than 3,000 people were killed in a car crash involving a distractive driver in 2010 in the U.S. More than 400,000 people were injured in distractive driver crashes, according to U.S. Government.

So many people take that risk without weighing their options not even thinking about the deadly consequences it may have.

"It only takes a second to be involved in a crash whenever your texting and driving," Karen Denise Peoples with the Texas Department of Transportation, said.

To help drive that point home, The Texas Department of Transportation along with Odessa College showed people how distracting it can be with a car simulator. NewsWest 9 took a nab at it. While driving, he was completely focused and then was asked pull out the phone and text and once he did, he started to swerve and crashed head on with a car.

"100 percent of your attention went down to the phone there and you slid over the line into on coming traffic," Arriving Alive Representative, Storn Olson, said.

Not only texting is a problem but driving under the influence is too, the car was set for a drunk driver and our reporter took it for a spin. Right off the bat, his focus was impaired.

"Swerving going on, dipped over the yellow line, eventually couldn't get it to stop at the light there and eventually ended up crashing into a building. With a DWI, you know at .01 and getting pulled over like that, they're definitely issuing a ticket. So you'll lose your licenses, the vehicle gets impounded and towed away," Olson said.

"We have a lot of people dying on the roadways. It's something that could have been prevented," Peoples said.

The U.S. Department of Transportation says last summer more than 196 billion text messages were sent or received in the U.S. which is a 50-percent increase from 2009.

In Texas, there are bans on texting while driving for bus drivers, first time drivers for about a year and in school zones. Some cities around the state have banned texting while driving under their city ordinance, the Basin doesn't have any.

Texas is one of the 11 states that doesn't have a total statewide ban for texting while driving.