Children’s Festival features distracted driving simulator

Participants at the April Marshfield Children’s Festival had a chance to test their driving skills, or lack thereof, through a joint venture between Kohl’s Cares and Ministry Saint Joseph’s Children’s Hospital.

The Kohl’s Kids on the Go program was able to bring their new distracted driving simulator to the festival. Parents and young drivers were able to see just how fast a distraction can cause a crash.

Amy Schmidt, Kohl’s Kids on the Go Program Coordinator and Jaime Hendrickson, Pediatric Trauma Program and Injury Prevention Coordinator for Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital were there coordinating the station. Schmidt said “Distracted driving is killing and injuring people in our community. By educating parents and young drivers at this event, we can impact the safety on our roads”.

The computer simulator, the One Simple Decision™, was developed using high definition video scenes, thought-provoking questions, and cutting edge technology. Participants are highly engaged while “living through” the risks and consequences of driving distracted, making OSD a valuable and effective addition to injury prevention programming.

Additionally, parents and drivers were asked to pledge to not drive distracted. “April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. We asked parents to pledge to not use their cell phones, either hand-held or hand-free, while driving” said Hendrickson. “Over 100 parents and drivers signed the Kohl’s Kids on the Go pledge at the festival”. Drivers might be surprised to know that using a cell phone while driving, whether hand-held or hands-free, delays a drivers reaction as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 (University of Utah).

“Our message is simple: keep you hands on the wheel”, said Schmidt.


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