On Tuesday, Oct. 4, the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Public Safety will host a driving simulator sponsored by AT&T in the West Lounge of the Student Union, where students, faculty and staff will be invited to experience a virtual reality driving experience that simulates their ability to drive while distracted.
More than 431,000 car crashes each year are caused by some form of distracted driving, and in 2014, 3,179 people were killed in distracted driving crashes. Distracted driving has become a serious national traffic safety issue, as more and more people use smart phones and text, post, glance, email and search while driving.
The Department of Public Safety wants to bring attention to this safety issue and is sponsoring the simulator in collaboration with AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign.
“UNC Police carefully monitor vehicular speed on campus, as well as pedestrian safety, but both the safety of drivers and pedestrians on campus are contingent on situational awareness,” said Director of Public Safety Jeff B. McCracken. “This is one effort to draw attention to how distracted driving puts everyone at risk.”
The simulator will be on campus from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The experience lasts about three minutes. After the experience, participants will be asked to sign a pledge to put their phone down while driving.