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Students at TCL learn dangers of texting while driving

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By Jaime Dailey - bio | email

BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) - Robert Tower with a group called PEERS is making his way around the country using a simulated exercise with a real car to bring awareness of the danger of texting while driving.  On Thursday, PEERS made a stop at the Technical College of the Lowcountry campus in Beaufort.

"It's got motion sensors on the gas petal, the headset has motion, sensors built into either side so every movement your hands, feet or your head or eyes make, its all picked up and calibrated through the system." said Robert Tower, PEERS.

While many think they can text and drive at the same time pretty well, students found out that wasn't the case.

"You think you see everything but there's a lot of little things you can miss," said Moriah Caldwell.

By getting behind the wheel, Jeremy Todd learned just how distracting texting while driving really is.

"I didn't realize how many times I crossed the road and went into the other lane, so I guess you don't realize it when you're driving down the road in real life situations, said Todd.

But after seeing what could happen, he and others understand how dangerous it can be.

" I didn't think I was going to hit someone like that right away but I guess it kind of proves the dangers of driving and texting," said Todd.

The PILAU group on campus sponsored this program, hoping to save lives.

"Just because you haven't gotten a ticket or in a car wreck from a text message while driving, it's possible, you never know," said Michael Cook with PILAU. 

Christopher Butler admits he does text message some times while driving but says this was a big eye opener as well.

"I crashed off a cliff while going around a curve," said Butler. "I thought I was pretty good, pretty good but in the simulation I killed myself."

But in real-life there are no second chances. That's why he and many other students on campus signed a pledge against texting and driving.

"I think it will drastically change that habit," said Todd.

"I don't text that much but I'm not going to text anymore," said Butler. "I'm going to try my hardest."

Students also got the opportunity to use a driving under the influence simulation to show the dangers of getting behind the wheel after you've been drinking. 

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