Eyes on the Road

We decided to create our final project, Eyes On the Road, in order to creatively educate players on the dangers of texting while driving. We chose to concentrate on this subject because cell phone-related distracted driving is a widespread issue in the United States, especially among teenagers. As teenagers with cell phones who will soon be on the road, this topic is extremely relevant to us.

"Throughout working on the final project we enjoyed most that we were able to address an increasing social issue while simultaneously improving our knowledge in computer science. We will bring this knowledge to our everyday lives and never forget such an amazing experience."
— Bridget

Although texting allows us to communicate with one another quickly and easily, constant cell phone usage often diverts our attention in potentially dangerous situations. According to the National Security Council, 1 in 4 car accidents in the U.S. involve cell phones, and teenagers are involved in the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal accidents. But even in the face of these statistics, the majority of young adults are confident that they can safely text while driving. Clearly, teenagers are failing to understand the serious implications of cell phone usage on the road.

We created our project to appeal to its intended audience, teenagers. Eyes On the Road is a JavaScript-based game in which the player navigates their car on a road using the keyboard arrow keys while avoiding computer-generated cars. Large text messages with prompts appear periodically on the screen, obstructing a large portion of the road from the player’s field of vision. In order for the distracting messages to disappear, the player must type on their computer keyboard, simulating a response. The goal of the game is to drive as long as possible before the player’s three lives are lost.

Eyes on the Road can be found at http://aviva-wang.github.io. On our website, we also included a slideshow with statistics on the dangers of texting while driving and information about our game. Further down the page is an animated link to the “It Can Wait” campaign website, where people can pledge not to text while driving. We believe that through the combined game immersion, education, and call to action, viewers will be convinced not to text while driving.

In the future, we plan to bring Eyes on the Road to a mobile platform, so it is more accessible to teens. We believe that companies will want to partner with us to support the movement to end texting while driving. It would be in the best interests of companies in the cell service providing, cell phone manufacturing, insurance, and vehicle industries to support safe driving measures. Also we believe that technology companies and organizations may take an interest in how we have applied our knowledge of computer science to an important social problem.

Until young people believe that their lives are endangered every time they read a new notification on the road, texting while driving will remain a problem.We hope that the difficulty of playing our game for an extended period of time proves that reading and responding to text messages takes a larger than expected amount of concentration. We would like to impress upon the players that dividing their attention while driving will lead to accidents that could be easily prevented: if drivers kept their eyes on the road, not on their phones.

In closing, we would collectively like to thank our amazing instructors for teaching us more than we could have ever imagined. Thank you to Accenture for making this experience possible. And lastly thank you to Girls Who Code for showing us that we are capable of creating something amazing.

Organization: Girls Who Code
Project Link: View Project Demo
Student: Bridget Corso
Project Team Members: Bridget Corso, Kavya Dagli, Aviva Wang
Type of Work: Game
Location: NYC - Accenture
Grade: 11th Grade
Year Created: 2015

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