Texting and driving on campus

Patricia Medina



Palm Beach State College’s Eissey Campus wanted to show students the real dangers of texting and driving by putting them behind the wheel–well, the simulated wheel.

They invited the Save a Life Tour to come to the College with a presenter and two simulators that would allow students the experience of being in a car, and texting while driving.  After Jonathan Saigeon, of Save a Life finished his presentation, he challenged students to try to drive and text while in the safe environment of the simulator.

“That’s why I don’t text and drive” said Jacoya Whattley, a student who ran a red light, hit six different curbs, and crashed her simulated vehicle into a tree.

Justin Perry, also a student said he “felt weird” when driving on the simulator and that the presenter “made a good point on different things that can happen with texting and distracted driving.  It could be anything, like changing a CD.”

“It enlightened me to a different perspective,” said Lovely Louis, right after her try at texting and driving.  Most of the students who participated in the texting and driving challenge crashed their simulated vehicles.  But what really drove home the message was the car Eissey campus was able to obtain and have on campus.

“The driver of the car was in an accident two weeks ago while texting and driving” said Angela Allen, Student Activities Manager for Eissey Campus.  “The driver wanted to be here to speak, but was unable to attend due to injuries” Allen added.

Jonathan Saigeon of Save a Life has been with the company for five years and has traveled to 46 states presenting at high schools, colleges and military bases.  What he found most surprising in all of his travels was “How many states do not have laws for texting and driving.”

According to www.distraction.gov, 3,328 people were killed in distraction-affected crashes in 2012, a slight increase from 3,360 in 2011. And estimated 421,000 people were injured in car crashes involving distracted drivers.

If you want to see some of the students try their hand and texting and driving on the simulators, please go to our website at www.beachcombermedia.com.