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Toledo news, weather, traffic and sports | Toledo, Ohio, | wtol.com

Dangers of distracted driving exposed with interactive simulator

The driving simulator shows teens what happens when you don't put the phone down and the damage that can result from being distracted.
Credit: WTOL

TOLEDO, Ohio — It is a very common sight, no matter where you are driving: someone on their phone while also behind the wheel.

ProMedica is trying to make sure teenagers don't fall into the same bad or even deadly habit. 

"No wait! Hang on! Just text him," said a voice on a driving simulator that was set up outside of Toledo Hospital.

It was designed to keep kids safe using a unique approach.

As they're driving along in the simulator, it actually tells them to text someone.

Teens can see the consequences of being distracted, like crashing into another car, running a stop light or stop sign, or hitting a pedestrian or animal.

State Farm provided a grant for the program.

"Just having your parent or your teachers or an adult in your life telling you, you don't drive distracted, it doesn't always get across to them. so this is a good way of educating them in a fun manner that does allow that education to get to them," said Taylor Meehan, a pediatric injury prevention specialist from ProMedica. 

Credit: WTOL

Meehan said they have not been able to bring the simulator into local schools because of the pandemic, but she said they're hoping to get the simulator back in schools in the fall.

But if you want your teen to try it out before then, the simulator will be at Franklin Park Mall on April 10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and at The Shops at Fallen Timbers on April 24 at the same times.

Meehan said adults can also take time to try the simulator, as plenty of adults also use their phones or drive distracted. 

The simulator also displays the estimated cost of car repairs if a driver causes a crash because of driving distracted.