The University community got a realistic look at what can happen when people text while behind the wheel of an automobile as AT&T brought its driving simulator to campus Sept. 4.
North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Chancellor Philip L. Dubois and AT&T executives, students and others experienced firsthand the dangers of texting behind the wheel. The driving simulator – a video game that included a chair, steering wheel, pedals and a monitor – was set up in the busy rotunda of the Student Union.
Drivers got a taste of a 3-D driving simulation that involved a city of about eight blocks and realistic texts that appear on a smart phone accompanying the chair. This re-creates the eyes-of-the-road and hands-off-the-wheel experience of texting while driving.
At a news conference, Dubois said he was proud to announce UNC Charlotte as the first North Carolina university to join the "It Can Wait" movement, signing on as an advocate alongside other state organizations. "At UNC Charlotte, we are committed to making a lasting difference in our students' lives and serving our community," he said. "Usually we focus on academic achievement, personal growth, and setting goals for the future, but nothing is more important than student safety."
Launched four years ago by AT&T, the "It Can Wait" campaign now includes more than 200 advocates nationwide. Click here to watch a YouTube video trailer of acclaimed director Werner Herzog's documentary about the impact texting and driving had on real people.
Photo by Wade Bruton.