Teens Experience the Virtual Reality of Texting and Driving

Many teens--and adults for that matter-- believe they handle texting and steering a car.

But today, students found out--it's not that easy and that it can be deadly. Channel 8's Kim Jackson shows us a unique virtual program--teaching the message, "It can wait."

Texting and driving might seem easy. But it is deadly.

"She was getting directions on where to go and looked away too long," said Merry Dye, about the accident that killed her 18 year old daughter, Mariah. That happened in 2009, the day before her high school graduation.

They had known, Mariah had a problem of texting behind the wheel.

"We talked to her. We grounded her. We took the phone away for months at a time," said Dye.

She is hoping their story will help students at Edison High School who tried AT&Ts virtual simulator.

It tests your ability to text and drive. Macy Means is too young to really drive.

"It was just like one look up and one look down and I was all the way in the other lane, where cars go the opposite way," she said.

Reporter Kim Jackson even got behind the wheel. The steering was tough and focus was hard. At the end--Kim hit a pedestrian--on the screen.

The goal is to persuade students before they ever start driving.

"Its gonna be a hard habit to break so we have to do everything we can to make it where it is just totally socially unacceptable to have that on in hit car,"said Dye, who now also teaches driving classes.

Macy has a year and a half to learn, and maybe she already has.

"I probably won't ever text and drive," she said. And that is the hope...

AT&Ts simulator travels the country, but you can get a similar experience by clicking on the link--at the right of this story.