Moline High hosts distracted driving program for students

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Some 900 Moline High juniors and seniors are arriving at Wharton Field House on Wednesday, May 2,  but they won't be watching a game.

Caleb Arnold, 18, is getting a personal lesson on a simulator about distracted driving.

"Honestly, you can't really text back and see the road at the same time," he said.  "It makes it really difficult to drive."

As students take the wheel, it's part of the national Save A Life Tour.

"Just one little text," said Keaira Swanson, 16.

Swanson knows that's all it takes for something bad to  happen.

"I looked down at the text one time," she explained.  "And in that time, I got in a crash."

The morning session offers powerful testimonials and activities.

Since Moline High's prom is on May 12, organizers hope the session will have a powerful impact.

"There's a different way to reach each kid," said Lisa Martinez, assistant principal at Moline High.  "We're providing that and hoping it makes an impact today."

Students can try about a dozen indoor and outdoor activities while wearing impaired vision goggles.

A task like cup stacking becomes almost impossible.

"It just distorted everything completely," said Kira Knoles, 17.

Since the activities are tough to do while texting, it really shows the dangers of distracted driving.

Some try tossing a football or shooting baskets with the goggles.

Paola Alonso, 16, is getting a lesson while trying to take out the trash.

"You should put your phone down, watch the road and drive  cautiously," she said.  "You are saving a life by putting your phone away."

At this session, it's a point to drive home.

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