October 6, 2015

Whitney N. Yarber, Communications Specialist

VSU to Host AT&T Virtual Reality Simulator Oct. 8

VALDOSTA – Valdosta State University has partnered with AT&T to simulate the dangers of texting and driving between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 8, in the Student Union Rotunda. The event is sponsored by the Office of the President and Alpha Lambda Delta Freshman Honor Society.

“Texting is the most alarming form of distracted driving,” said Niki Turley, associate dean of students in the Division of Student Affairs. “The state-of-the-art texting while driving simulator by AT&T is an astonishing real experience about the potential dangers of driving and using your phone to text or for social media.”

Through its It Can Wait campaign, AT&T urges drivers to keep their eyes on the road, not their phone. Supported by Samsung, Bose, and Google, the simulation is an immersive experience utilizing Samsung Gear VR (virtual reality), premium sound from BoseQuietComfort 25 acoustic noise cancelling headphones, and Google Cardboard.

Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to take the It Can Wait pledge online at www.itcanwait.com and share their pledges on Twitter and Facebook using #ItCanWait.

“Our goal is to share and reinforce this simple message — keep your eyes on the road, not on your phone,” said Beth Shiroishi, president of AT&T Georgia. “While many tragedies are out of our control, the ones caused by smartphone driving distractions are completely preventable. We are using our It Can Wait simulator to help raise awareness and educate the public about the very real dangers of these actions in an effort to change behavior and make our Georgia roadways safer.”

Contact Niki Turley at nwturley@valdosta.edu or (229) 333-5941 for more information.

Texting and Driving By the Numbers

70: Percentage of people who engage in smartphone activities while driving.
40: Percentage of people who social network while driving.
75: Percentage of teen drivers who say texting while driving is common among their friends.
78: Percentage of teen drivers who say they are likely not to text and drive if friends tell him it is wrong or stupid.

Source: AT&T

Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities.

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals:

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/planning/strategic-plan.php to learn more.