More than 5,000 people died as a result of distracted driving in 2009. That’s according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Those sobering statistics led one group to help educate people of the dangers using high-tech equipment.
The “Arrive Alive Tour” is giving folks a chance to see the impact of distracted driving without feeling the deadly effects.
Dozens of students at Central Georgia Technical College’s Milledgeville campus got a dose of reality as they strapped on goggles and jumped in the driver’s seat.
The fake citations were handed out by instructors for the “Arrive Alive tour.”
“The simulators set up to put them in a real-life driving experience,” said Awareness Instructor Ryan Nelson. “It’s kind of a worst-case scenario with driving conditions. Cars are swerving out in front of you. People are walking across crosswalks.”
It’s part of a campaign to teach people the dangers of distracted driving and driving under the influence.
“They should actually have this before you drive, to let you know when you’re driving with a learner’s or an actual license, not to text and drive,” said Chris Cornett, from Eatonton.
The 18-year-old got behind the wheel and attempted to send a text.
“I’ve been texting and driving ever since I got my license and seeing this right here, I will stop texting until I come to a dead stop,” said Cornett.
Anthony Robinson says he sees distracted drivers on the roads every day.
“It just takes one time for you to look down and next thing you know you possibly end your life or somebody else’s life,” said Robinson, who lives in Sparta.
He thinks learning like this in a safe, controlled environment could help save lives.
“You can get out of a car of a simulated test, but you can’t always get out of a car in an actual accident,” said Robinson.
“We hope that through this event, it will put the awareness in front of them that you really need to be careful when you’re driving,” said Nelson.
They hope these students and others take the lesson with them every time they get behind the wheel.
For more information on the Arrive Alive Tour, you can check out their website.
You can also join in the Great Hang Up and pledge to put the phone down while driving.