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AT&T, New York State Police partner to bring new 3D virtual reality simulator to Erie County Fair

by jmaloni

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Tue, Aug 18th 2015 09:05 pm

Demonstrating the dangers of smartphone distracted driving

"It Can (All) Wait" when behind the wheel

New research shows seven in 10 people engage in smartphone activities while driving. It's no longer safe to assume people are just texting from behind the wheel. They're checking email, posting to social media and even snapping selfies.

To drive home these new findings, and the message "It Can (All) Wait," AT&T has teamed up with the New York State Police to bring the AT&T nationally touring 3D virtual reality simulator to the Erie County Fair. The simulator will allow fairgoers to experience firsthand how dangerous it can be when you take your eyes off the road and direct them onto your phone.

The 3D virtual reality simulator is free and open to the public to take a test drive. The virtual reality simulator stop at the Erie County Fair is one of 100 it is making nationwide.

State Sen. Tim Kennedy, a champion in Albany on advocating for stiffer laws on texting while driving, joined AT&T and New York State Police to unveil the simulator and discuss the dangers of distracted driving at ceremonial first drive Monday at the Erie County Fair.

Behind the wheel, everything can change in the blink of an eye. A post, a selfie, a text, a scroll, an email - one look is all it takes. This new simulation shows the real consequences of looking at your phone while driving.

Samsung, Bose and Google are supporting the immersive tour experience, which is delivered through Samsung Gear VR, with premium sound from Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones.

Google Cardboard will make it possible for people to use their own smartphones to see the 3D virtual reality program. To learn more about how you can experience this program at home, visit www.ItCanWait.com/VR.

The experience is part of AT&T's "It Can Wait" campaign, which urges drivers to visit www.ItCanWait.com, where they can pledge to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phone, and share their pledge with others via Twitter (#ItCanWait) and Facebook. What started as a campaign focused on not texting and driving has now expanded its focus to the broader dangers of smartphone use behind the wheel. Since its launch in 2010, the campaign has:

Helped drive awareness of the dangers of texting while driving to about 90 percent for all audiences surveyed.

Inspired more than 7 million pledges not to text and drive.

Worked with departments of transportation in various states on research that suggests a correlation between "It Can Wait" campaign activities and a reduction in crashes.

The 3D virtual reality simulator will be at the Erie County Fair from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday in the New York State Police Building.

State Sen. Tim Kennedy tries the simulator. 

State Sen. Tim Kennedy tries the simulator.

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