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Whitestown Fire Department releases virtual reality video simulating distracted driving

Dec 14, 2020 | News, Whitestown Fire Department

The Whitestown Fire Department has released a new virtual reality video to educate the public about the dangers of distracted driving.

“The 360-degree video shows how easily distracted driving can happen and the consequences that can result,” said Whitestown Fire Chief Josh Westrich.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving claimed the lives of 2,841 people in 2018, the most recent year data was available.

The video, shot from the perspective of the passenger, shows the moment of impact and the resulting extrication from the vehicle. It can be viewed on any 360-compatible device, including various smartphones, computers, and more, or using Google goggles.

“Whether it’s texting and driving, reaching down to adjust your radio, or even passengers in your car, taking your eyes off the road can result in a serious accident or death,” said Indiana EMS Medical Director Dr. Michael Kaufmann. “If you’re traveling at 55 miles per hour, taking your eyes off the road for even five seconds results in your eyes being off the road for the equivalent of a football field.”

“While we intended to distribute this video during public events in 2020, the pandemic changed those plans,” said Westrich. “We do intend to still include the video at future events, but decided to make it available to the public sooner.”

“We’d like to thank Ascension St. Vincent’s, Indianapolis Car Exchange, St. Vincent StatFlight, Traders Point Christian Church, Whitestown Metropolitan Police Department, and Zore’s for their partnership on this project,” said Westrich.

The video can be found on the department’s website at www.wfdfire.org/firevr.