Hiram – The Hiram Police Department recently held a “Distracted Driving” awareness program at Hiram College. The program consists of a high tech simulation unit that participants operate. “The participants are behind a steering wheel with a large monitor in front of them, they are directed to drive the simulator as prompts are given by the computer system”. The simulator operator is put in “real life” scenarios and situations as they are operating the simulator, they will receive a simulated text message of cell phone call and they have to respond to it, as they are responding the simulator puts them into real life situations such as a ball rolling in the street or a car backing out of a driveway and into the roadway.
The participant experiences the extreme difficulties of distracted driving. The simulator proceeds through an itemized list of repair costs and traffic citation fines associated with a crash. “This simulator really drives the point home that distracted driving is extremely dangerous and can result in personal injury as well as fatal injuries sustained from a vehicle crash. In 2012 alone, 3,328 persons were killed in distracted driving crashes”. The simulator also has an “Impaired Driving” feature that simulates the reactional and operational effects of operating a vehicle impaired. “The impaired driving feature follows a step by step video of the operator being arrested for impaired driving”. The program was very well received by students at Hiram College. “We are focusing much effort towards distracted driving due to the fact that distracted driving has become more prevalent as technology has advanced greatly over the past several years. The Distracted driving Simulator was provided by the Ohio Department of Transportation.