BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - State Police are putting on a demonstration at the 2011 Buffalo Auto Show on the dangers of driving while distracted.
The demonstration includes making calls on your cellphones and texting. The simulator serves as a wake-up call for many drivers.
Their message is clear: texting and driving can have deadly consequences. State Police are using this simulator to show people what happens when they take their eye off the road.
NYS Police Sgt. David Martek said, "Many, times they'll make it home safe and think everything is okay. But really, the statistics are one out of five crashes involves distracted driving and the majority of fatal accidents, up to 80 percent involves distracted driving."
The demonstration is sponsored by an insurance company trying to help people save money on rising insurance rates after they've had an accident.
Nationwide Insurance Michael Granica said, "We hope by having the simulator here that you will actually get a feel for things you might not realize when you're actually driving, your surroundings. You don't realize you crossed the double yellow line until the cop pulls you over. People have a philosophy, 'Well, it hasn't happened to me yet and I must be okay.' And they continue to do it."
There are graphic displays showing accidents from distracted driving. Even though there are laws on the books making it illegal to talk on your cell phone or text while driving, many people still do it. State Police are trying to educate the public before enforcing the laws. Every age group is known to text, but the biggest problem is with teenagers.
"For the most part, the number one age group is 16 to 20, and then the next is 21 to 29, which accounts for 35 percent of all accidents and all fatal accidents involve distracted driving," said Granica.
A recent study reveals that people who text while driving are 23 times more likely to have accident.
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