FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), the fear of missing something, puts young drivers at risk. According to the latest European data, more than 3.600 young people die each year in traffic accidents; and of them, two out of three are drivers. The desire to be permanently connected with your friends comes with being especially prone to potentially lethal distractions, such as taking selfies, sending texts or accessing social networks.
To highlight the danger, Ford, in collaboration with award-winning virtual reality studio Happy Finish and Google, launched Ford Reality Check. It is a virtual reality application that allows you to experience the potentially fatal consequences of distracted driving.
According to neuroscientist Lynda Shaw, young people are mentally programmed to be extra sensitive to this fear of missing something. That's why you keep in touch with your friends while they drive.
"Studies show that the part of the brain that helps reduce anxiety when we're not in contact with our friends is less active when we're young," Shaw said. “Adolescents feel that it is extremely upsetting to feel excluded from their group. Furthermore, this prefrontal cortex is also associated with functions such as risk assessment, planning or control of our actions. "
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The Ford Reality Check app uses Google Daydream VR to put you in the role of a distracted driver picking up friends on the way to a party. Messages, calls and passengers compete for your attention, generating “for very little” situations. The last of the distractions has fatal consequences. In the first tests, 90 percent of the users who tried the application stated that they would change their driving behavior after the experience.
“Suffering a car accident is an experience that can change your life; And sadly, for many young people, it can end their life in a tragic way. We hope that by providing a chilling glimpse of how easily this can happen, we will encourage young people to drive safer, ”said Jim Graham, director of Ford Driving Skills for Life.
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