Local High School Students Learning about Distracted Driving

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GRACEVILLE-- The centerpiece of the "Arrive Alive Tour" is this simulator that allows students to experience the slower reaction caused by drinking or texting while driving.

Thursday it was Graceville High School's turn.

Students hopped in a car and put on virtual reality headsets, which simulates a roadway.

The driver texts on a cell phone, while trying to navigate what they see in their glasses.

"I didn't know texting and driving would be that difficult. I thought it would be a lot easier but it’s not," said Davianna Anderson, student.

Other students watched from a television monitor.

"We bring the kids from the 12th grade on down to 15 years of age because they either have a restricted license or they're going to have a restricted license," said Jimmy Hamilton, Jackson County's Sheriff's Office Deputy.

There were nearly 39,000 crashes in Florida last year in which a driver was driving distracted.

Those crashes resulted in 201 deaths and more than 33,000 injuries.

"A lot of the kids didn't know that texting and driving actually causes more accidents than drinking and driving. So for every single drinking and driving accident there's actually four texting and driving accidents," said Chris Bennett, Unite International.

And the message is apparently sinking in.

"I heard a student say a while ago that they would never text and drive and I thought that was pretty, pretty powerful," said Larry Moore, Graceville High School principal.

"We’re just trying to teach these kids that they're not 10 feet tall and bulletproof that when they get behind that wheel they're going to have to be careful about what they're doing," Hamilton said.

More than 9 people are killed, more than 1,000 injured each day in the United States due to distracted drivers.