BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Distracted driving has become the number one cause for car wrecks across the country. More than 3,000 people are killed as a result of drivers not paying attention behind the wheel.
Bakersfield officers are conducting a DUI check point to help keep roads safe this weekend. This is the second one for Kern County, the first was held by the California Highway Patrol Friday night.
Now, Allstate Insurance rolled out its 'Reality Rides,' a vehicle helping people deal with distractions on the road.
Teen driver, Nicholas Lopez is still learning about the rules of the road and is participating in the special event.
"It just gave you the same appearance as being behind the wheel driving. There was a few difficulties, but it gave you the basic behind the wheel experience," he said.
The high-tech simulator uses real, but a stationary SUV equipped with virtual reality technology.
"it's not just cell phones, it's just texting. We have so much on-board navigation and so many comforts that we bring behind the wheel with us, if we're thinking about other things then the responsibility of driving safely, we put ourselves at risk," said Jim Klapthor, spokesperson for Allstate.
The SUV displays an animated environment across the windshield of the car and reacts to the driver's command.
"What we found out about California from previous visits from reality rides is that three out of four people wh take the driving simulator respond afterwards that they will never text and drive again," he said.
People use the steering wheel, gas and brake pedals like normal. They're driving while attempting to text, talk on the phone and operate popular in-car and on-dash technology that can in most cases take a driver's awareness off the road.
The program is helping parents find peace of mind.
"I think that texting is so much a part of their everyday existence that I just don't' think that they think to put it down or to turn it off when they are behind the wheel of the car. This is a great simulator for them to practice to see waht would happen," said parent, Shannon Hill.
Reality Rides continues its cross-country tour in Denver.
Allstate Insurance plans to visit 40 cities.
Carlos is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carloscorrea23abc
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