Massapequa High School seniors experienced the dangers of distracted driving, using simulators to understand the consequences of poor choices made behind the wheel.
The Junior/Senior PTSA hosted the Save a Life Tour on March 8, which began with an assembly for all seniors. The presentation included statistics and video testimonials of people who lost loved ones due to distracted driving.
Throughout the day, students were able to use two simulators provided by Matrix Entertainment. One had delayed reaction for the steering wheel and gas and brake pedals to mimic the effects of driving drunk. At the other, students had to hold a cellphone in one hand and answer texts as they attempted to drive. Most seniors ended up in crashes at both simulators.
Sophie M., after using the text simulator, said it felt like she was really driving, and using the phone was certainly distracting. “It was pretty hard, I kept swerving the whole time,” she said. “I’m never texting and driving.”
Students filled out electronic pre- and post-simulator surveys about their current driving habits, and how they felt those habits would change as a result of this experience. They were also asked to sign a banner pledging to avoid distracted driving.