Watch What Happens When a Teen Texts While Driving

Published 04/26 2012 08:00PM

Updated 04/27 2012 12:56PM

Tobyhanna, Monroe County - Despite laws banning texting behind the wheel, people are still tapping away on their phones, especially teenagers.


Many teens say they feel pressured to respond to their friends quickly but experts say taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds can cause a wreck.


A teen from Stroudsburg helped Eyewitness News do a texting while driving text. On a closed course, under the close watch of professional drivers, Tyler Kleinle texted and drove in several situations.


Independence Driving School in Tobyhanna provided a vehicle with brakes on the passenger side. Instructor Dave Lortz manned the back up brakes in Tyler's vehicle. Professional Driver Thomas Madrazo drove another car to simulate traffic on the road. He said,"It's a little enlightening for the kids."


The first test was a straight away. Madrazo suddenly pulled out in front of the teen. Kleinle said, "I didn't expect it so I slammed on the brakes."


There were more surprises at Kleinle navigated a curve. He didn't notice Madrazo swerving into his lane. Kleinle said, "I see him in front of my face like two seconds later. I'm like, stop."


Then he drove through a mock construction zone. Lortz noted, "Any distraction is a major hazard."

Without texting, Kleinle sailed through the obstacles. But with one hand on his cell phone it was a bumpy ride. He nearly ran into a set of cones. He reacted, "That could have been a car and I could have been dead."


On another run through the fake construction zone, the professional played another distracted driver who swerved into the teen's lane. Kleinle swerved off of the road. He said, "You don't expect that to happen but anything can happen with the other driver. They can lose control of their car and if you're texting you won't notice it."


Kleinle hopes the test serves as a warning to put the brakes on texting while driving. You could save a life. He said, "My life is more important than my facebook status or what I'm doing this weekend."

The driving instructor pointed out that while some of Kleinle's mistakes might seem small, if there was real traffic on the road with him, his mistakes could have been deadly. That's especially true if he was sharing the road with another distracted driver.




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