GMU Grad Students Teach Teens Dangers Of Distracted Driving | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

GMU Grad Students Teach Teens Dangers Of Distracted Driving

Play associated audio

They've hooked up a steering wheel and pedals to the game to give it some authenticity.

The grad students are giving students at Westfield High School in Chantilly, Va., one chance to drive the course without distractions -- other than the 800 other sophomores watching the big screen in this auditorium.

The second time around they ask one of the driver's friends to send a text, which the driver has to try to read.

"She got the call -- [she's] looking down, oh, as soon as she looked down, we had an incident," says doctoral candidate Haneen Zaqer of one student's actions.

She says even the drivers who showed the most skill without distractions usually crashed within a few seconds of glancing down to read the first text.

Katie Manning, 16, was one of the test subjects.

"When I'd pick up a phone, and I just stopped concentrating on the wheel and then I looked up at the screen and my car was sideways..if this were real life, I'd be in trouble," she says.

Westfield is the first high school Zaqer and her colleagues have visited with their simulator and they're planning to visit more schools soon.

NPR

How'd A Cartoonist Sell His First Drawing? It Only Took 610 Tries

Tom Toro was a directionless 20-something film school dropout. Then, after an inspired moment at a used book sale, he started submitting drawings to The New Yorker ... and collecting rejection slips.
NPR

Will Environmentalists Fall For Faux Fish Made From Plants?

A handful of chefs and food companies are experimenting with fish-like alternatives to seafood. But the market is still a few steps behind plant-based products for meat and dairy.
NPR

Will We See Veto Battles On Capitol Hill?

With President Obama promising to vetoes, what are the possibilities of a few veto overrides during the next two years? NPR's Arun Rath puts that questions to the National Journal's Fawn Johnson.
NPR

3 Voices, 1 Threat: Personal Stories Of Cyberhacking

In President Obama's State of the Union address, he gave fresh emphasis to a problem that has been in the headlines: cybersecurity. Here are three people who have experienced security breaches.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.