Allstate works to eliminate distracted driving with 'Reality Rides' simulator

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Last year was the deadliest year on America's roads in nearly a decade. More than 40,000 people died in car crashes in 2016. Allstate is working to stop distracted driving, which is one of the biggest contributing factors.

We've all seen the drivers who speed up, and slow down for no reason...or the ones who are swerving all over the road. Inevitably, when you pass them, they have their phone in their hand while they're driving.

The Allstate Reality Rides simulator is helping to drive home the message that distracted driving is deadly.

"We've been touring around the country, bringing this simulator around to folks to show them firsthand the dangers of distracted driving. With a real tactical way they can feel it in a safe environment," explains Allstate Spokesperson Adam Polak.

While driving around the U.S., you can bet they've seen their fair share of distracted driving. "We see, as you probably do as you're driving around town and it looks like every car you're looking into somebody has something else to do on a phone as opposed to paying attention," says Polak.

We hopped in the simulator, to try it out ourselves.

"The time it takes someone to read and write a text message normally is the equivalent of driving blindfolded across a football field," Polak adds.

It was clear, it only takes a split second for everything to change.

"You'd think someone was intoxicated as you're driving at 8 a.m. into work and we've also seen from studies that have been done that when you're texting and driving, or using a device, as far as your attention and mental faculties, it's about the same as being .08--legally drunk," explains Polak.

Allstate says their research shows nearly half of all wrecks today are caused by phone related distractions. "It's amazing. You have so much power in that cell phone, and there's so much information, but at the same time it's knowing the appropriate time and place to be accessing that information...and the car is just not that place," he says.

Allstate also has an "X the TXT" movement where drivers can pledge not to text behind the wheel.

The Reality Rides simulator was set up Monday near the state capitol, where lawmakers held their first of several public meetings discussing distracted driving.