The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District 11 is presenting the Distracted Driver Simulator Tour at the Harrison County Fair next week, beginning Tuesday, July 3 and running through Saturday, July 7. The Distracted Driver Simulator Tour is part of ODOT’s comprehensive roadway safety campaign, “Every Move You Make, Keep It Safe” which provides Ohioans with information on how to use the roads safely – whether they get around on foot, by vehicle, motorcycle or bicycle. Distracted Driving is an epidemic on America’s roadways.
ODOT District 11 Deputy Director Lloyd MacAdam said, “Every day, drivers swerve, stop at green lights or run through stop signs, because their eyes and minds are on their phones instead of the road. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for about five seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of a football field blind. It’s very dangerous. Ohio law now bans texting while driving. You could pay a fine and lose your license… or lose your life.”
The public is encouraged to come test their driving skills on ODOT’s Distracted Driver Simulator next week between 12 and 8 p.m. at the Harrison County Fair. The simulator places a driver in a seat with a computer monitor in front of them, gas and brake pedals, turn signals, and a steering wheel. After buckling up, the driver takes the wheel and must drive with distractions or with impaired abilities, such as those caused by drug or alcohol use.
In the distracted driver scenario, the participant receives a phone call, sends a text message and listens to passenger conversations while navigating roadways. In either scenario, it doesn’t take long before the driver makes an error and is involved in a crash that results in realistic simulated interactions with police, medical staff and a judge. Safety is ODOT’s number one priority.
Ohio’s goal is to reduce roadway fatalities five percent by 2015 – saving 150 lives. Many of today’s crashes could be prevented through increased safety awareness and safer driving practices. Get tips on how to avoid distractions and encourage others to take the pledge by visiting www.distraction.gov or visit www.everymove.ohio.gov for information on general roadway safety.