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WSU Tri-Cities uses Virtual Reality to prevent distracted driving


WSU Tri-Cities uses Virtual Reality to prevent distracted driving

RICHLAND, Wash. — Virtual Reality takes a person into a whole new, simulated world. And WSU is using VR to keep their students safe.

Students strapped on a VR headset on campus and entered the streets of San Francisco. They were told to drive and text at the same time.

Students struggled to stay on the roads and many crashed their cars.

Professors said they hope the simulation will teach students first-hand how dangerous texting and distracted driving can be.

“If we allow them to drive in cars while texting, the results could be catastrophic,” said WSU assistant professor Jonah Firestone. “So this way we give them a simulation, and they can see how easy it is to be distracted, and how easy it is to crash.”

Professor Firestone said this is the first time they’ve used the virtual reality lab to study distracted driving effects. He said they’ll continue to invite students to try it out every year during the school’s safety week.



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