How do you keep kids from getting distracted? One school thinks Mario Kart is the answer. In order to teach kids about the dangers of texting while driving, Colorado's Vail Christian High School has introduced the "distracted and drowsy driving program," in which kids play Mario Kart Wii while answering and sending text messages, in order to see how phone use adversely affects driving skill. As a bonus, the program teaches awareness of hazards like banana peels and turtle shells.

The program, which also includes deterrents like a chair that simulates a 5MPH collision and a golf cart that simulates drunk driving, is part of Vail Christian's entry in a National Organization for Youth Safety contest. The school stands to win a $10,000 award if its program wins. Students who successfully demonstrate understanding of how dangerous texting while driving is will also earn college credit in Obvious Studies.

[Via GamePolitics]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

Joyswag: Halo Wars 'Strategic Options' DLC [Update]