Great Hang Up: Game teaches texting dangers

4:11 PM, May 2, 2011   |    comments
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Plant City, Florida -- A Hillsborough County orthodontist is giving his patients more than just a straighter smile.

Dr. Derek Busciglio, who has offices in Plant City and Brandon, is also giving teenagers a lesson on the dangers of distracted driving.

Busciglio recently launched a new website, donttextanddrivegame.com, aimed at raising awareness about the dangers of texting and driving.

"I notice it here every single day," said Dr. Busciglio.  "I have a patient sit down, we're going to do an adjustment or orthodonic visit and they start holding their cell phones up and start texting while I'm trying to do my visit on them."

The website is essentially a video trivia game.  Players watch a video--many dealing with dental health issues--when answer questions about the video.  At the same time though, they need to respond to text messages coming to them from a simulated cell phone.  They quickly discover how difficult it is to concentrate on more than one task at a time--just like texting and driving.

As an incentive, the website offers free movie passes to patients taking part in the game.

Dr. Busciglio figures his patients are at the pefect age for this kind of lesson.

"Our age group of patients typically fall within the 12, 14, 15-year-old range," said Busciglio.  "They're very impressionalbe and they're just getting ready to hop behind the wheel.  So if we can get those kids to stop doing that, then eventually over time, it'll lead to less people texting while they're driving their vehicles.

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