CENTER GROVE, Ind. (WXIP) – It takes just one second to go from life as a typical teenager to a much more tragic reality.
These days, a teenager means staying connected and not missing one moment.
WXIP wanted to find out how much the addiction to technology goes behind the wheel on the roads.
Joe Stricker can never be quite sure what his teenage son is really doing behind the wheel.
He said, “We wanted to see what really does go on in there.”
Xtreme Vehicle Designs hid a camera inside the lining of Nick’s car.
Stricker took Nick’s car home and gave it back to him.
The next morning, Nick’s phone was already out and in his lap.
Over the course of a few days, Nick battles plenty of distractions, between the family dog, music and his phone.
Chandler Gerber knows how dangerous and deadly those few seconds can be.
Gerber said, “I started driving about eight in the morning. It was really difficult to see and I got bored, [so I] just started texting my wife. My whole world froze that morning.”
He added, “I just heard glass breaking, tires screeching, crunching, all these types of things. A second or two goes by, I kind of came to a stop and a body came off the top of the van. I just knew that I had hit something.”
Gerber had hit an Amish buggy at full speed.
He said, “I jumped out of the van and I just ran around the side of it to the back and I looked and there was just a buggy and a horse and just people laying in the ditch.”
As a result of being bored and texting, he killed a teenager and two young children.
Two years later, he sees himself in a lot of teens.
He said, “I can just see that being the van that I was driving. When I see that, it just about makes me sick because I know how fast things can happen. I don’t want that to happen to him.”
Nick said, “When you’re [texting] you never think, ‘Oh, I could hit something or somebody.”
Even more shocking was what Dad was caught doing.
After watching the crew spend hours installing the hidden camera in Nick’s car, it takes just more than a minute after Joe pulls out of the parking lot for him to start texting behind the wheel.
Stricker said, “It’s just bad habits.”
The average crash happens just three seconds after a driver is distracted.