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Indiana University Northwest

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IU Northwest hosts driving while texting simulation experience Sept. 7

AwareTXT program teaches life-saving lessons


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Media Contact

Emily Banas
Office of Marketing and Communications
980-6536
ebanas@iun.edu

Erika Rose
Office of Marketing and Communications
981-4358
erikrose@iun.edu

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Wellness Team

Peer Awareness

It’s the law in Indiana and Illinois – all drivers are prohibited from reading or sending text messages while driving. But, does that stop you? 

Recognizing the very real and extreme dangers of texting while driving, Indiana University Northwest has partnered with PEER Awareness to bring to campus AwareTXT, a texting while driving simulator experience. The true-to-life car simulator will be on campus from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 7, in the Hawthorn/Marram courtyard. The AwareTXT program will provide students with a safe way to understand the dangers of texting and driving, consequences to their actions, and learn how to make the right communication choices. 

Today’s average teen sends close to 3,000 texts per month, according to a recently published Nielsen study. At the same time, one of the fastest and most problematic driving distractions is both reading and sending text messages. 

It’s common knowledge that texting while driving can be deadly. Still, too many refuse to change their habits. Consider this, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 16 and 20, killing more than 5,000 people in this age group each year, or equivalent to roughly 84 percent of IU Northwest’s student body. Texting while driving can compound the already present dangers. 

A new, nationally representative survey by Consumer Reports National Research Center showed how widespread distracted driving is, especially among younger drivers:

  • 63 percent of respondents under 30 years old reported using a handheld phone while driving in the past 30 days, and 30 percent of them texted while driving during the same period. That compares with 41 percent and 9 percent, respectively, of respondents who were 30 or older.
  • Among the under-30 respondents, only 36 percent were very concerned about the problem of distracted driving, and only 30 percent felt it was very dangerous to use a handheld phone.
  • 64 percent of respondents overall said they had seen other drivers texting using a handheld device in the past 30 days. 94 percent had observed drivers talking on a mobile phone and 5 percent had seen a dangerous driving situation related to a distracted driver in the past month. 

The AwareTXT simulation experience is a free event open to the public sponsored by the IU Northwest Wellness Team; Office of the Chancellor; Office of Student Life and Athletics; the Office of Academic Affairs; the College of Health and Human Services; and the Office of Adminstration. 

For more information, please contact Anne Mitchell, event coordinator, at (219) 980-6611 or amitchel@iun.edu.