HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) - Holland Police call distracted driving the number one killer of teenagers. Now, they have a new driving simulator to show the dangers of texting or talking while behind the wheel.
Congressman Bill Huizenga is trying to prove a point by texting while driving the new simulator at the Holland Police Department.
"You have to be thinking. You really have to be thinking," says Congressman Huizenga.
The simulator forces drivers to pay attention to deer, other cars, and even pedestrians.
"It's pretty amazing how quickly things can come out at you," says Huizenga.
Holland Police bought the $10,000 device with a grant from State Farm Insurance.
"Talking and texting on a cell phone is our number one teenage killer right now," says Officer Doug VanderKooy of the Holland Police Department.
The simulator is meant to enhance a driving safety program called Race Through Education. On Saturday, students got to test it out.
"Video games is their era, but they realized what change this made in their driving. This is as real as getting into the car," says VanderKooy.
Police say the average driver who is texting is looking away from the road for nearly five seconds. At 55 miles per hour, a driver could go through a whole football field in that time.
"If someone comes a football field length in front of you, you are not going to stop in time," says VanderKooy.
The simulator also shows conditions for drunk drinking and weather.
"We all operate under the assumption that everyone around us is rational and paying attention, and that isn't always the case," says Congressman Huizenga.
By Alex Shabad