Teens put through a crash course on texting while driving

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - You may think texting doesn't affect your driving much. But when you see the results left behind, you may be surprised. Students at Hazel Green High School were put to the test.

"Every year we do this, it seems, we always have one or two students that takes this course that do well and think they can drive really well, and they can't. They just can't do it," said Brian Smith, Madison County SRO.

However, a few surprised them. "We had a couple that scored really high on the distracted part," said Smith.

Meaning, they could drive well while texting, answering calls, and even talking to passengers; something the Madison County Sheriff's department doesn't see often.

Smith says it does give a false sense of confidence for the students that do well. But the students are quickly reminded, that driving an ATV is much different than driving a car.

"When you're in the real world and driving down the roadway, that's real life scenarios and you can really get hurt," said Smith. "When you're traveling at 50 mph and you hit the shoulder, and your vehicle is turning, you can't recover from that."

According to a recent study by AAA, 12%of distracted driving accidents happen from texting while driving. But the biggest distraction behind the wheel for young people: "It's actually talking to passengers," said Smith. "When they get out by themselves and get in with friends, that's when it really gets dangerous."

Freshman Drew Garrison was the top scoring student, but says he still learned a valuable lesson.

"It was hard, but it helped, I think," said Garrison. "Cars are bigger and more dangerous if you drive carelessly."

If you'd like to sign your child up for one of these courses, go to Madisoncountysheriff.org