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Local Teens Learn Dangers Of Distracted Driving Via Virtual Game

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GLEN BURNIE, Md. (WJZ)—If you text and drive, you lose. That’s the message students at a local high school drove away with after spending the morning behind the wheel playing a virtual texting while driving game.

Christie Ileto has more on a story that affects all Maryland drivers.

“It was frightening,” said Samantha Thon, Glen Burnie High School student. “You’re focusing on something that isn’t important, and you should be focusing on driving instead.”

She, like dozens of other Glen Burnie students, got behind the wheel of a computerized simulator Wednesday morning.

It’s attached to a real car to show drivers just how dangerous their distracting behavior can be. It’s part of the Motor Vehicle Administration and phone service provider AT&T’s push to curb texting and driving–something many Maryland drivers still do even though it’s against the law.

“Thinking my daughter would do that scares me really bad,” said Holly Fox, whose daughter is months from getting a license.

She’s hoping her 16-year-old will get the message: eyes on the road, and off the screen.

“Just concentrate on what I’m doing,” said Fox’s daughter, Lauren.

Imagine taking your eyes off the road for 5 seconds to send a text message. Well, officials say that’s equivalent to traveling the entire length of a football field blind.

“Distracted driving kills,” said MVA Administrator John Kuo.

The MVA says 250 people die every year in Maryland due to distracted driving.

It’s an eye-opening stat that officials are hoping student drivers who tried the virtual course Wednesday won’t become a part of in real life.

Numbers also show an average of 55,000 distracted driving related accidents occur in Maryland every year.

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