With one hand on the wheel and the other scrolling through his cellphone, Parker Thompson barely sees the cyclist on his right before taking the biker out. Next up a series of traffic cones falls under the wheels of his four-door sedan, and he slams on the brakes, but not in time to stop the car from taking out a pair of school children crossing the road.

While this may seem like a terrible but all-too-familiar tale of teenage carelessness behind the wheel, Thompson is no average teenager, and this is no ordinary car. Thompson, a 17-year-old from Red Deer, finished fifth this summer in his rookie year on the USF2000 Indy car racing series. His vehicle (complete with a passenger side emergency brake) was provided by AMA Driver Education to demonstrate the dangers of distracted driving. The pedestrians and cyclist? Plastic cutouts on a closed course.

This may have been a demonstration for the cameras, but the issue of driver distraction at the wheel is all too real. As Thompson whipped through the obstacle course he dodged hazards while sending text messages and engaging in a conversation. Needless to say, he did not complete the course safely………