Whether it’s because of national campaigns or because you read about it on our blog, most people know that texting and driving is dangerous because it forces a driver’s attention away from the road. But while it may only be for a few seconds, this is long enough, scientists say, to cause a serious or even fatal accident.

Despite this knowledge though, thousands of people the nation over continue to partake in this dangerous and even negligent behavior. If you asked some people why, they might rationalize their behavior by assuming that because they’ve never gotten into a distracted driving accident, the chances of it happening down the road are less likely. Unfortunately, as our Los Angeles readers know, life doesn’t work like this and an accident can happen to anyone.

Some believe that if people experience the ramifications of their actions then they would be less likely to continue a dangerous behavior like texting and driving. Not wanting any of our readers to get into an accident in order to prove this point, we instead encourage people to try Allstate’s Reality Rides simulator that gives drivers the chance to experience distracted driving first hand but in a completely safe environment.

You may have heard about this simulator, which is set to go on tour this month. Drivers are asked to do distracting behaviors like texting or putting information into a GPS unit to see the effect it would have on a person’s driving ability. At the end of the simulation, drivers are then given “tickets” that show the violations they could receive in real life.

Though drivers know the experience isn’t real, it has already changed the minds of some participants who have done the simulation. For a number of people, the simulation caused them to “think twice about texting and driving.” For more than half the participants, they will now encourage their friends and family to do the same to help decrease the number of distracted driving cases nationwide.

Source:  Carrier Management, “Allstate Tries to Educate Drivers With Reality Rides Simulator,” April 8, 2015