Virtual reality simulation showcases dangers of texting and driving


Monica Dattage

As a part of their national “It Can Wait” campaign, AT&T set up a virtual driving experience in the Sacramento State University Union Monday morning.

The campaign is aimed at teaching individuals the dangers of using a cell phone or other mobile devices while driving.

Alice Perez, an area director with AT&T, said the goal is to teach drivers to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phone.

“You would think it is the young people who need [this experience], but it’s the moms and dads … older people too,” Perez said.

Since the campaign started in 2010, approximately 8 million people have taken their “It Can Wait” pledge, she said.

Darrin Ginder, a junior computer science major, said the effects of the virtual reality show you what can really happen if you text and drive.

“The experience was very intense,” Ginder said. “It’s like you were there.”

At the end of the drive, the virtual reality experience takes users through a worst case scenario: a car crash that you see from above as it unfolds.

“There was glass everywhere,” Ginder said. “The paramedics were even there.”

Sophomore computer science major Michael Venturino said the message was very well put together and shows what really can happen if you use your phone while driving.

“The experience was definitely well worth it,” Vernturino said.

Sac State was just one stop on a nationwide tour for the virtual reality experience.

“We hope that this experience is life-changing, and people realize that texting or using a phone can wait,” Perez said.