Wasps trio use Virtual Reality to experience dangers of phone distractions for Aviva #DriveSafer campaign

Mark Lawford
Wasps trio Joe Simpson, Jimmy Gopperth and Ashley Johnson have experienced the dangers of mobile phone distractions while driving as part of Aviva’s new #DriveSafer campaign

Wasps trio Joe Simpson, Jimmy Gopperth and Ashley Johnson have experienced the dangers of mobile phone distractions while driving as part of Aviva’s new #DriveSafer campaign.

The Wasps stars, who have nearly 400 appearances for the Coventry-based club between them, were put through a Virtual Reality experience by Aviva, proud sponsors of Premiership Rugby, while sitting behind the wheel of a stationary car to highlight the potential consequences of interacting with your mobile phone while driving.

Unaware of what was about to happen, the players were exposed to three near-misses all caused by a distracting smartphone that was receiving messaging while they travelled down a dark country road. The scenarios included a darting deer, a fallen tree and a broken-down motorist, with the culmination being a traumatic high-speed crash.

The film highlights the staggering fact that if you are driving at 45mph and look at your phone for five seconds you will have travelled the length of an average rugby pitch.*

Along with Wasps, Premiership Rugby and the other 11 clubs are all proud to support Aviva’s #DriveSafer campaign and help raise awareness of dangerous driving caused by distractions. This follows on from Aviva’s successful Safer Driving campaign last year.

Wasps scrum-half Joe Simpson said, “Having been put through Aviva’s VR driving experience, it was really shocking to see just how distracting a mobile phone can be while you’re behind the wheel. Jimmy Ashley and I would encourage everyone to play their part in making our roads safer and to put your mobile phones away whenever you’re driving.”

Wasps trio Joe Simpson, Jimmy Gopperth and Ashley Johnson have experienced the dangers of mobile phone distractions while driving as part of Aviva’s new #DriveSafer campaign

Peter Markey, Brand and Marketing Communications Director for Aviva said, “We’re on a mission to make Britain’s roads as safe as possible and we’re proud that Premiership Rugby and all 12 Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs are helping us to make people wake up to the dangers and take that extra care when they are behind the wheel.

Distractions while driving – particularly the use of mobile phones – is still a huge problem in the UK and we believe there’s no excuse for having to pay for other people’s bad driving. For this reason, the Aviva Drive app is free to download and safer drivers save an average of £170 off their Aviva car insurance, so there’s every reason to put your mobile phones away and help make a real difference.”