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by Eric Berkman

GM’s Virtual Program Shows You Can’t Talk on Your Cell Phone and Drive

News
Nov 15, 2001 2 mins
Mobile Small and Medium Business

You’re running late for a golf game with a vendor. As you’re weaving in and out of traffic, scrambling to beat every light, your cell phone rings. You’ve got to talk your technicians through a server crash. Meanwhile you swerve and spill coffee all over yourself. Now you need to somehow make yourself presentable?all while trying to stay on the road. Can you handle it?

General Motors and Enlighten, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based interactive consultancy, have devised a game that will most likely prove you’re not up to the task. As part of an effort to educate consumers about the dangers of driving while distracted, GM enlisted Enlighten to develop the Driver Distraction Demo?animated simulations that put you behind the wheel, then assail you with distractions. In one you’re a soccer mom trying to get a carload of bickering kids to the field by game time. In another you’re a Gen X-er trying to get friends to a rock concert on time. Or you can be the businessperson rushing to a meeting. Each involves similar distractions?ringing cell phones, the need to get yourself presentable, passengers trying to get you to switch radio stations. Each time you attend to a distraction, you start to veer off the road. All three demos are available at www.senseabledriving.com.

“Most people think, ’Oh, I can use my cell phone while driving,’” says Enlighten CEO Steve Glauberman. “GM wanted an interactive simulation that would educate people about the perils of driver distraction while entertaining them at the same time.”