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Simulator At BCCC Shows Drivers The Dangers Of Texting Behind The Wheel

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Mike Schuh 370x278 Mike Schuh
Mike Schuh joined WJZ Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)— Though young drivers only make up 7 percent of the population, they’re responsible for over 15 percent of car accidents.

Mike Schuh reports on a continuing effort to educate one driver at a time.

It’s not often you see what looks like a car crashed into the front of Baltimore City Community College.

But this car hasn’t crashed. At the college’s request, it’s parked here trying to prevent crashes.

“And we feel we have a responsibility with a captive audience, students, about the dangers of texting because that’s been an increasing problem,” said Ron Smith, BCCC Student Life vice president.

Texting and driving and drinking and driving are the top reasons why accident rates for young drivers are double their population percentages.

There are 3,000 teen deaths and 300,000 injuries a year just from texting and driving.

Maria Gulliver gave the simulator a try. Though she knew she’d probably fail, it still surprised her.

“Your mind and reaction time is completely altered if you are drunk,” Gulliver said. “But yeah, it surprised me how quickly I crashed, and usually I’m a good driver.”

These demonstrations happen at high school and college campuses across the country.

Here alone, more than 100 students will try. And the results are often fatal–a point those here now understand.

“That was pretty fun, but it would have been pretty dangerous in a real scenario, so I will probably never text and drive,” said Rere Johnson, student.

“Everyone thinks that they can look away for a couple of seconds. ‘I’ve got my mind on the road. I’m watching what’s happening,’ but it only takes split seconds for something terrible to happen,” Smith said.

Though subsidized, Tuesday’s training cost BCCC $2,500.

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