ODOT’s Distracted Driver Simulator to tour area schools next week
Photo ops will be available
New Philadelphia, Ohio (Tuesday, April 17, 2012) – The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District 11 is presenting the Distracted Driver Simulator Tour at safety events across eastern Ohio next week.
The Distracted Driver Simulator Tour is part of ODOT’s comprehensive roadway safety campaign, “Every Move You Make, Keep It Safe” which provides Ohioans with information on how to use the roads safely – whether they get around on foot, by vehicle, motorcycle or bicycle.
The simulator places a driver in a seat with three computer monitors in front of them, gas and brake pedals, turn signals, and a steering wheel. After buckling up, the driver takes the wheel and must drive with distractions or with impaired abilities, such as those caused by drug or alcohol use. In the distracted driver scenario, the participant receives a phone call, sends a text message and listens to passenger conversations while navigating roadways. In either scenario, it doesn’t take long before the driver makes an error and is involved in a crash that results in realistic simulated interactions with police, medical staff and a judge.
According to the AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety, teens have the highest crash rate of any group in the United States, and car crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers. That’s one reason ODOT District 11’s grassroots effort to distribute roadway safety information will target teens with the Distracted Driver Simulator at the following schools and events next week:
· April 23, East Holmes (Hiland) High School – 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
· April 24, Kent State University Tuscarawas Campus – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
· April 25, Tuscarawas County Teen Driving Rodeo (Fairgrounds) – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
· April 26, West Holmes High School – 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
· April 27, Carrollton High School – 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
A recent AAA Foundation in-car camera study shows electronic devices were the most commonly observed distracted driving activity for new teen drivers.
Intersections and roadway departures account for 65% of all highway fatalities. In 2010, there were nearly 300,000 crashes across Ohio with more than 1,000 deaths and 10,000 serious injuries. Safety is ODOT’s number one priority. Ohio’s goal is to reduce roadway fatalities five percent by 2015 – saving 150 lives. Many of today’s crashes could be prevented through increased safety awareness and safer driving practices.
Ohio’s highways are essential to keeping and creating new jobs. With a mission to provide easy movement of people and goods from place to place, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is responsible for maintaining one of the largest transportation networks in the nation. Guided by ethical principles and accountability, ODOT works to improve safety, enhance travel and advance economic development. As a $2.8 billion enterprise, the department wisely invests in its core services of snow and ice removal, annual construction program and highway maintenance operations.
For more information, contact:
Lauren Holdsworth, Public Information Specialist, at (330) 308-7817
Becky Giauque \Jee-awg\, Public Information Officer, at (330) 308-3949
or email D11.PIO@dot.state.oh.us