MATTHEWS, NC - The Matthews Alive Festival provides plenty of opportunities for food and fun, but one booth could save some lives. AT&T's 'It Can Wait' campaign has a booth set up throughout the holiday weekend to warn people about the dangers of distracted driving.
"It's not just texting," said CJ Johnson, campaign spokesperson. "It's using your smartphone. It's a selfie, a post, an e-mail. In any moment when you look away from the road for one second, you're whole life can change forever."
The booth features a virtual reality simulator, which uses an Oculus device to play out different distracted driving scenarios.
"It was very realistic," said Mike Getter, festival attendee. "I've seen the aftermath of people texting and driving in the emergency room, and from what I could see of this, and what I've seen people do on the road when I drive, it's extremely realistic."
"Personally I'm kind of aware of the dangers and I try recognize it," said Thomas Gathings, festival attendee. "But this really hit home, more so than just thinking about it. It really did."
The simulation ends with a fatal accident. The goal of the program, is to keep these scenarios in virtual reality.
"Our hope today and this weekend is to save lives," Johnson said. "We want to teach people that no text, no post, no glance is worth their life or somebody else's life."