Distraction games challenge DU students to think about texting while driving

Nearly 30 percent of at-fault distracted driving crashes in Colorado involve 21- to 30-year-olds. To address this age group directly, on May 13, CDOT went straight to the source and spent the day on the University of Denver campus.

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In collaboration with DU's Office of Campus Safety, CDOT challenged DU students to think about distracted driving with a series of "Distraction Games." The games aimed to bring light to the dangers of driving distracted by testing drivers on the three main types of distraction, as outlined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • Visual – taking your eyes off the road
  • Manual – taking your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive – taking your mind off driving.

The games included a variety of simple tasks that became more challenging with the addition of some form of a distraction, such as:

  • Driving simulator – required participants to navigate a computer-generated scenario while texting.
  • Tricycle obstacle course — participants navigated a course of cones, blocks, and traffic signs on a tricycle while simultaneously texting.
  • "Perfection" — participants completed the game by placing all the pieces in their corresponding locations while simultaneously answering questions and simple riddles.
  • A mini-golf putting green — a short putting green challenged participants to accurately putt the ball while blindfolded and answering questions.
  • Corn hole — a miniature version of the popular lawn game tested the ability of participants to accurately aim and complete tasks while blindfolded and answering questions.

The games helped students realize that if they can't play a simple game while distracted, it is highly unlikely they could safely drive while distracted.