AT&T brings virtual reality texting simulator to Columbia Center - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

AT&T brings virtual reality texting simulator to Columbia Center Mall to educate on the dangers on texting and driving

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KENNEWICK, WA- On Friday, AT&T visited the Columbia Center Mall and shoppers were able to experience their virtual reality simulator that is used to recreate a texting and driving experience for the driver. 

We talked with the AT&T Communications Director, Andy Colley and he told us, "we did a recent study where we found seven out of ten drivers are using their phones while driving, 40 percent are using social media and 30 percent are surfing the web and believe it or now one in ten are using video chat like Facetime. Crazy, we need to change this behavior". 

Their It Can Wait campaign was started in 2010 and urges drivers to pledge to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phone. Colley tells us, "so it brings it to a whole new level because a lot of people haven't seen virtual reality so when they see the combination with that and what it can do with distracted driving it just breaks through". 

Drivers who use the virtual reality simulator go through the two minute experience and typically have the same response as Dorothy Lamastus, "no I'm going to have to think about it a little bit more serious now, it's very, the impact of what happens in a split second really brought it home". 

Colley said, "when they're done, they take those goggles off  and go oh my goodness, I've done it before but I'm never doing that again you can see it in their eyes".