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Simulator warns students of dangers of texting while driving

There are a number of activities you shouldn't perform while operating a motor vehicle, like talking on your cell phone, or eating, or reading Joystiq (seriously, dude, put that smartphone down). The UMass Memorial Medical Center and the Allstate Foundation recently teamed up to create a driving simulator designed to warn high schoolers about a common travel distraction: Sending and receiving text messages.

Not only does the D.R.I.V.E (Distracted Reality an Interactive Virtual Education) program challenge participants with sending a text message while navigating a virtual road, it also puts them in the perspective of the victim of the ensuing crash, and places them in a virtual court to receive penalties recently instated in real-world Massachusetts. Sure, some of the rhetoric from the program's organizers is shmaltzy ("in real life, there is no game over"), but it's certainly a topic worth educating new drivers about.

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