Teens experience dangers of texting & driving

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- With phones in their hands, teenagers got behind the wheel and were ordered to text while driving.

It did not go so well for Zachary Curtis who dropped his phone and rolled right over a cone. "It was hard ….I thought it'd be easy… but no.," said Zachary.

All this texting and driving would be illegal, except for the fact they are in golf carts, in the parking lot of Marshall High School in Falls Church, courtesy of Fairfax County Police who are trying to help teens understand just how dangerous texting and driving can be.

Nyssa Cederstrom, a senior at Marshal said, "I was nervous. My body was shaking… It's harder than I thought. You have to make a sharp turn, and text at the same time"

Graham Huber, a senior at James Madison High School found the experiment really hard.

The teens were given the option to use goggles which give the wear a feeling of being drunk with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .06. That is not legally drunk, but it is enough to be impaired or "buzzed."

Some teens said the goggles made them feel dizzy even before they started driving. And with the goggle- simulating what just a few drinks would do to reaction time, mistakes were rampant.

Ari Corn is a senior at Madison High School who is taking the Criminal Justice Academy at Marshall. He was also surprised at how difficult it was to drive with the drunk goggles and text simultaneously. "I almost flipped over the cart," he said.

Michael Aguilara from George Washington High School contemplated the cones that were hit and said that if someone was drunk and texting like that on the real road, the cones could be people and there could be real casualties.

It was an experience these teens say they will not forget.

"These are just golf carts. What if we had been in cars on the road?" said Corn.

The event launches a Spring break safe driving campaign. Some of the teens were wearing black, in honor of those that have died in distracted driving crashes.


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