Driving simulators aim to keep Rutherford Co. teens safe - WSMV Channel 4

Driving simulators aim to keep Rutherford Co. teens safe

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Parental warnings can only do so much, so teenagers are getting the message on safe driving in the form of a very realistic video game from the Governor's Highway Safety Office.

In Rutherford County alone, seven teens died in traffic crashes in 2012, and the county ranks fourth in Tennessee for crashes involving teen drivers.

With a $27,000 grant from the state, the county has purchased two simulators to show student drivers how dangerous it is to text or drink while driving.

"If a vehicle is going 50 mph, in the time it takes them to perceive and react to something going on, they'll go 290-something feet before they can ever get stopped. So we want them to realize that," said Tony Burnett, with the Governor's Highway Safety Office.

The simulators show what can so easily go wrong during distracted or impaired driving.

"These simulators show what really happens when you are going down the road. There are changes that happen in traffic. There are people that can pull out in front of you. There are vehicles that can stop in front of you. There are deer who can run out in front of the car," Burnett said.

The simulators will be used at all seven high schools in Rutherford County as well as at various community events for teens.

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