By Hadas Kuznits
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Some students at a Catholic high school in Philadelphia were learning about the dangers of distracted driving today with the help of a driving simulators and so-called “drunk goggles.”READ MORE: AIDS Walk Philly, Region's Largest HIV Awareness Event, Underway At Art Museum
Sean Devlin, president of the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) chapter at Roman Catholic High School, says the goal of their National Organization for Youth Safety (NOYS) rally was to educate students about distracted driving.
“I believe it was either this year or last year, (distracted driving) actually surpassed drunk driving in terms of the most dangerous thing for teens in America,” he noted.
So how does one avoid the temptation of answering a text while driving?
“Well, we’ve been telling students to just either silence their phones, turn it off, or give it to the person in the car with you,” Devlin advises. “Or just pull over and answer it if you need to.”READ MORE: Religious Leaders Putting Faith Into Action To Stop Gun Violence In Philadelphia
Devlin has been the student leader in charge of this event for the past three years, and says it has taught him a lot:
“I think the one statistic was, if you look at your phone to answer a text, you go the length of a football field in that amount of time. And I don’t know about you, but there’s a lot of accidents that can fit into a football field.”
He says it’s no coincidence that this event is held just as prom season is about to get underway.
“We have the driving simulator here that is actually a program where you drive, but then it sends you a text message and you have to answer. And they’re starting to realize that they can’t do it,” he says of students who have tried the distraction simulator.
And he notes that SADD, which used to stand for “Students Against Drunk Driving,” has expanded its mission.
“They added the drugs in, distracted driving, anything that could affect them,” he says.