Utah Distracted Driving Simulator Analyzes Teen Behavior

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Numerous areas from across the United States have launched initiatives designed to teach people about the dangers of distracted driving, and these types of campaigns are especially important to teenagers, a demographic proven to be most at risk.  But perhaps those initiatives that are the most successful are also those that help researchers obtain information which allows them to combat the problem in the future.

Today will find the Traffic Lab at the University of Utah playing host to an engineering camp composed of various high school and middle school students from around the area.  The cornerstone of the camp is a driving simulator which teens can hop into to learn about how disastrous texting while driving can be.  This simulator will place images of various driving situations throughout Utah in the driver’s field of view and then show teens the difference in normal behavior versus distracted.

But that’s not all the simulator does.  The technology can also analyze the behavior of the driver.  The traffic lab is linked up to traffic control centers throughout Salt Lake City and the rest of the state.  Using information from various research efforts, scientists can use gathered data to figure out the best way to manage, monitor, and potentially control traffic on the roads.

According to persons with the college, teenagers have a triple or quadruple the chance of being in a crash compared with persons who are older and have more experience behind the wheel.