VSP warns of dangers of distracted driving

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PULASKI, Va. (WDBJ7)— Tuesday, first responders gathered at Tuck’s Collision in Pulaski to keep on top of training for rescuing people trapped in their cars after an accident.

WDBJ7 photo

“They’re making it safer for the people inside, but harder for us to get into them,” said Atlantic Emergency Solutions Training Specialist Henny Kincer. “It’s important that these guys stay up to date, vehicles are constantly changing.”

Kincer said one of the biggest challenges for first responders right now is the hybrid vehicles on the road.

“They run electricity and combustion,” he said. “Whenever the firefighters or EMS are dealing with a hybrid vehicle, they have that extra component of 650 volts that could jump out and bite ‘em.”

Across the parking lot, Virginia State Police were taking people through a distracted driving simulation to warn them of the risks that can pop up out of nowhere on the road.

“Distracted driving is now more prevalent than the drunk driving because every day out on the road you see somebody on their phone,” said Sgt. Troy Dalton.

Dalton is one of the instructors for the state police distracted driving simulator.

“That’s our job as the Virginia State Police,” Dalton said. “We want to bring awareness to highway safety and how we can better help people to be safer on the road.”

The course takes you through an obstacle of cones, while listening to loud music, being nagged by your passengers and having people run or walk out in front of you without looking up to see you there.

“Most of the time, these things end up badly, it just depends what happens,” Dalton said.

The Virginia State Police offer free educational and driving simulation classes for schools. If you are interested in having a class at your school, please call 276-223-4206 to set up an appointment.

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