October 23, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- In recent years, safety experts, lawmakers and regulators have done much to inform the public of the dangers posed by distracted driving. Despite these efforts, distracted driving, particularly texting while driving, remains common and is frequently a cause of serious car accidents
. To better illustrate to young drivers just how dangerous texting and driving is, researchers have developed a new video game that demonstrates just how much using a cell phone can affect a person's reaction time while behind the wheel.
The game is called SMS Racer and its goal is simple: players must try to get around a track as quickly as possible. The difficulty, however, is that players receive periodic text messages on their phones. The game requires them to respond within 10 seconds or it resets the current lap time. It is currently available for free download.
SMS Racer provides a real life demonstration of just how difficult it is to keep your eyes and attention focused on the task of driving while sending and receiving text messages. It is not uncommon for players to find themselves on the side of the track as they attempt to respond to a text within the allotted 10 seconds.
The hope is that the game will shed even more light on what has proven to be a pernicious highway safety issue. In many jurisdictions, lawmakers have enacted bans on cell phone use while driving in an effort to stop people from texting while driving. Some automakers have also installed systems in new vehicles that allow people to receive calls and text messages without taking their hands off the wheel. Although some safety experts have suggested that these hands-free systems present the same sort of distracted driving risk as cell phones, others have said that they do offer some safety benefits.
In reality, programs aimed at changing drivers' behavior are the only likely things that will prevent distracted driving in the future. Although they may seem potentially beneficial at first glance, bans and technological advances do nothing to address drivers' basic habits. The hope is that avoiding the use of cell phones or other electronic devices while behind the wheel will one day become second nature, no matter whether there are bans on the practice. Only time will tell whether games and other educational efforts will prove successful, but they may be exactly what is needed to prevent distracted driving once and for all.
Article provided by Steven Wingo, Attorney at Law
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