Being distracted while driving can cause serious, even fatal accidents. Some research has shown that up to seven in ten people have used a smartphone while driving. A US campaign called It Can Wait is using a 360 degree video to demonstrate the dangers.
The It Can Wait campaign was created by telecoms company AT&T in collaboration with ten trauma hospitals in Maryland. AT&T volunteers at each hospital have used a virtual reality (VR) application that shows the consequences of drivers taking their eyes off the road to look at their phones.
The 360-degree video, shown below and originally uploaded to YouTube in 2015. is part of a suite of online resources that hope to stop people using their phones while driving. The 360-degree video can be viewed using Oculus Rift or Google Cardboard.
“We want to continue our work to raise awareness about the dangers of using a smartphone while driving. It’s against the law in Maryland. And it’s deadly. This is an important outreach program for the trauma centers, and it’s important to AT&T, too. We’re glad we could team up with Maryland’s trauma centers to remind drivers of all ages: It Can Wait.” Dunn said.
Research into the impact of the campaign has shown a correlation between campaign activities and a reduction in the number of crashes. The campaign has received more than 14 million pledges not to drive distracted since the campaign began.
“The safety and security of Marylanders is our top priority, and we’re working every day to reduce traffic fatalities and save lives,” said Larry Hogan, Governor of Maryland where the campaign was recently shownn off. “Distracted driving puts everyone at risk, that’s why I’m glad to see our world-class trauma centers and the private sector working together to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. It’s simple: if you’re driving in Maryland, keep your eyes on the road, not on your phones.”
It isn’t the first time that VR has been used to improve car safety. Last month the University of Iowa released an app that aims to inform people about the safety features in modern vehicles. You can watch the It Can Wait 360 degree video below.
VRFocus will continue to report on VR’s use as an ediucational tool and beyond. Life In 360° will return on Friday.