Arrive Alive Tour Talks Dangers of Distracted Driving

POSTED 6:04 PM, JUNE 19, 2014, BY UPDATED AT 06:33PM, JUNE 19, 2014

WYOMING, Mich. (June 19, 2014) – Distracted driving can involve music, people in the vehicle, talking on the phone and texting.

The consequences can be deadly.

But there is a safe way to learn a harsh lesson: getting behind the wheel of a D.U.I. and texting simulator with the Arrive Alive Tour.

“We’ve got a car hooked up to sensors that have a sensor set on the gas pedal, brake pedal and the steering wheel,” said Chris Bennett, road crew leader with the Arrive Alive Tour.

Once you get behind the wheel and start driving, the sensors send information through virtual reality software.

“It really gives the participant a first-hand experience on what the dangers are for texting and driving or drinking and driving,” said Bennett.

The dangers are real.

According to Michigan State Police, in 2012, there were 748 crashes where someone involved was using a phone. Eight of those crashes led to a death.

“A lot of people do still think that drinking and driving causes more accidents than texting and driving,” said Bennett. “I love asking that question. For every single drinking and driving accident there’s four texting and driving accidents.”

The term used by Arrive Alive is ‘inattention blindness’

“You don’t think about it, you really don’t,” said Bennett. “When you pick up your phone you get that notification look down for a second, but all it takes is that split second, every time you do it you’re taking a gamble.”

Students shown first-hand dangers of texting while driving

Published:   Updated: 

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – For three days this week, the AAA of Pioneer Valley’s “Arrive Alive” campaign is stopping at western Massachusetts high schools to give teens a first-hand feel for the dangers of texting and driving.

Chicopee Comprehensive High School was the campaign’s first stop. Students there put on virtual glasses and used a driving simulator, which went up to 40 miles per hour as students tried to write a text message.

Some of the consequences included hitting a person crossing the street and crashing into other cars on the road.

22News asked teens how tempting texting and driving is and how their simulator experience would help deter them from doing it.

“We are risking our life texting and driving, and it’s just really pointless to do it because why would you risk your life to do that?” sophomore Brianna Correa said.

Students were also shown a movie of a violent texting-and-driving car crash reenacted.

The campaign will also stop at Chicopee High School Tuesday, and at West Springfield High School on Wednesday.

O’Hara students learn texting-driving dangers

Cardinal O’Hara senior Nick Steller sends a text message while behind the wheel inside a video simulator that discourages students from texting while driving at the school on Tuesday morning. (Times Staff / ERIC HARTLINE) 


MARPLE — Most people have to learn the hard lessons in life the hard way.

One of the goals of the Unite Arrive Alive Tour is to teach a life-changing lesson in a much easier way. The tour’s latest stop was at Cardinal O’Hara High School Tuesday and featured a driving simulator to show teenagers what can happen when a person drives and texts at the same time.

“I thought it was real and it just felt real,” said senior Christina Manning after taking her turn in the driving and texting simulator. “It was a good learning experience.”

The simulator includes having students sit in a real vehicle and text with their own phones while they are driving. A small TV screen allowed classmates to see how texting while trying to drive affected the vehicle’s direction and stopping ability.

“I feel like this puts you in a position where you can experience what would really happen,” Manning said.

Most of the teen drivers in the simulator hit either a pedestrian or a car in front of them. This time they could hit a reset button, but they know that’s not the case in real life.

“I realized what can happen when you look down for just a second,” said senior Julia DelGrosso. “I think I did everything wrong except hit someone. You don’t realize how much can happen in a second.”

Cardinal O’Hara Assistant Principal for Student Services Kathleen Guyger is the parent of two teenage boys and hears plenty of talk about this relatively new dilemma of texting and driving. So, with financial support from the Cardinal O’Hara Home and School Association, it was decided to bring the Arrive Alive Tour to O’Hara.

“I have witnessed it a lot because I am out in the parking lot when the students drive in in the mornings,” Guyger said. “I think this is something that is pretty prevalent in this age group.”

An informal survey of some students in two morning classes found that each of them had been in a car with someone texting and driving.

“When they are doing it, having an accident or hitting somebody doesn’t cross their mind,” said Arrive Alive instructor Josh Sheehy. “They don’t know the statistics for texting and driving. For every one accident caused by a drunk driver, there are four accidents caused by texting while driving.”

One of the keys to the program, which featured a movie in the school auditorium, is to get teenagers to speak up if they are riding in a vehicle with a driver who is texting.

“I will scold them and tell them to put the phone away,” said senior Nick Familetti. “If I ever have an emergency (while driving) on a text, I will just pull over. It’s not a good thing if you crash your car.”

Another senior, Nick Steller, said the simulator was more effective than watching a movie that shows crashes.

“Usually what you see is a video of what can happen to people and they just try to scare you,” Steller said. “This showed us that it’s pretty much impossible to text and drive safely.”

Steller found that out the hard way in the simulation when Sheehy instructed him to text friends that they were meeting at Johnny’s Chicken.

“I didn’t make it to Johnny’s,” he said.

Students experience texting, driving simulator

Arrive Alive

Cortney Hunt, 18, a senior and member of Swansboro High School’s Students Against Violence Everywhere or “SAVE”, reacts to a simulated alcohol impaired driving experience hosted by Arrive Alive Tour on Wednesday.

John Sudbrink/The Daily News

Published: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 09:00 PM.

SWANSBORO – Swansboro High School junior Dane Mitchell experienced the dangers of texting while driving Wednesday without ever getting on a roadway.

He and fellow classmates got behind the wheel of a high-tech driving simulator for a first-hand lesson in the potential consequences of distracted and impaired driving.

“It does make you think. Anything can happen,” said Mitchell.

During his simulated drive, Mitchell found how quickly a situation can change. In his scenario, the few seconds of texting resulted in him hitting a pedestrian.

“It happened so quickly,” he said, thankful the situation was not real.

The students said they hear the messages of Don’t Drink and Drive and Don’t Text and Drive but to experience how it could affect their driving had a greater impact.

“It gives you a look at what can happen,” said Gabrielle Wilbur.

She walked away with the experience of impaired driving.

“I’m never going to drink and drive,” she said.

The simulator’s stop at Swansboro High School was part of the Arrive Alive tour. Allstate Insurance Company hosted the event in conjunction with the school’s Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) chapter.

SAVE President Janay Watie said the tour’s stop falls at an appropriate time, with the high school’s prom this weekend.

“We want to remind everyone to keep is safe,” she said.

While they work throughout the school year to educate fellow teens about safe driving, the Arrive Alive was a chance for them to test their ability to drive under the influence or while talking or texting on the phone in a controlled environment.

“They could experience without the danger,” she said.

SAVE Vice President Cortney Hurt she said it can take of seconds and you can hurt yourself or others.

“You never know what can happen. It can change your life,” she said.

Also during the event, students were invited to sign a banner that read “SBHS loves WOHS” to show support for the four White Oak High School students who were involved in a weekend wreck that killed one of the students.

Students had the opportunity to try the simulator during the day and the event was opened to the community after school.

Contact Daily News reporter Jannette Pippin at 910-382-2557

‘Crash’ course for teen drivers

Foxborough Regional Charter School After School Coordinator Josette Perkins participates in one of two driving simulations provided by Teen DRIVE. The program travels to high schools throughout Massachusetts and is free of charge thanks to a generous grant from Allstate. (Photo by Christine Igo Freeman)

By Christine Igo Freeman
Published: Thursday, March 13, 2014 9:29 AM EDT
“One Distraction, One Too Many.” That’s is the motto of a driving awareness program known as Teen DRIVE, which teaches high school students the risks associated with distracted driving through a “first-person” experience in a driving simulator.And some of those experiences were a wake-up for students at Foxborough regional Charter School this week.

“The students participating were very excited to try out the program, and many thought it to be like a video game at first,” said FRCS Student Life Advisor Jamie Droste. “I tried to touch base with each student as they exited the program and many were shaking their heads saying they had crashed during the simulation, or even suffered multiple crashes! They told me that they crashed trying to text, or while they were virtually impaired. Just the look on their faces told me they understood the lesson very well.”

The program travels to high schools and other venues around the state of Massachusetts. Droste first heard about Teen DRIVE from school nurse Cathy Alix last October after Alix attended a Norfolk County School Partnership meeting.

DRIVE stands for Distracted Reality an Interactive Virtual Education, and more than 500 teens, including juniors and seniors at FRCS, have participated in the program that has been in existence for almost five years.

This program is sponsored by the UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester and is totally free of charge because it is funded by a grant from Allstate.

“We’re not teaching teens to drive. We are teaching them the consequences of distracted or impaired driving,” says Coordinator Esther Borer, CPST of the Injury Prevention Center at UMass Memorial.

Borer spent three days this week at the FRCS, where she worked with more than 70 students, faculty members and parents. She explained that Teen DRIVE began the day texting became illegal in Massachusetts at the end of September 2010.

The program is housed in a 44-foot truck containing two driving simulators that mimic the interior of a car. Each simulator is equipped with a car seat complete with seat belt, steering wheel, gas pedal, brake pedal and a computer screen. Each session lasts for a half hour during which time the “driver” will experience two driving simulations.

One of the simulations challenges the participant with cell phone related distractions, such as talking and texting while driving. Borer points out that cell phone use (hand held and hands free) for drivers in Massachusetts under the age of 18 years old is illegal. She also explained that there is a ban on texting for all drivers, but that drivers over 18 are still allowed to talk on the phone.

During Borer’s visit, she observed that some students were able to text and drive; however, many more students suffered the consequences of distracted driving. She also noted that it is not unusual for adults to feel nauseous and dizzy during the simulation.

Every participant starts with a “Free Drive” experience. During this practice session the person is free to drive anywhere, but must obey all traffic laws. Other scenarios include peer distractions inside the car when driving with friends and diversions outside the vehicle, such as deer running in front of the car.

The second simulation provides the driver with an impaired driving experience such as being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. This simulation also includes the possibility of the driver sustaining injuries in a car accident and being transported to a trauma bay at a hospital.

Another scenario is the participant is driving at night in rainy conditions and is arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). This scenario includes the participant having to appear in court in front of a judge for sentencing.

“We have had a lot of parent communication, with parents wanting their juniors and seniors to do the program,” Droste explained. “We also have had a lot of interest from parents of younger children wanting us to bring the program back next year.”

She added that students had to have their driving license or driving permits in order to participate in the program.

“There is a lot of talk in the hallways in between classes, kids comparing their experience behind the wheel of the virtual program,” Droste said. “That’s why the program is so powerful; it promotes discussion about the consequences of distracted teen driving.”

For more info on Teen DRIVE, please contact Injury Prevention Coordinator Esther Borer at 774-443-8627 or Borer encourages interested schools to call soon because the schedule for 2014 is filling up fast.

Organization use simulator to encourage drivers to “Arrive Alive”

Posted: Apr 18, 2014 12:01 AM EDT

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) –Students and staff at a local college got a lesson in drunk and distracted driving.”Arrive Alive” strives to keep kids from driving drunk, and texting behind the wheel.They traveled to Western Iowa Tech Community College, today, to show students what it is like driving impaired and distracted. “It differs from person to person but I definitely think that it does shed some light on to really how much attention it takes away from driving,” said Chris Bennet, Team Leader.

The “Arrive Alive” tour goes to schools across the country to teach about the dangers of impaired driving.

“Arrive Alive Tour” Visits Sioux City

Posted: Apr 18, 2014 12:00 AM EDT

Updated: May 02, 2014 12:00 AM EDT

SIOUX CITY, IA –It’s a sobering statistic: for every drinking and driving accident, there are four texting and driving accidents.Today at Western Iowa Tech, a simulator showed students the consequences of sending a text while behind the wheel.The “Arrive Alive Tour” texting while driving simulator lets students get behind the wheel while wearing a virtual reality headset, allowing them to experience some of the potentially deadly consequences of texting while driving.UNITE, the group that puts on the program, says that if the simulator gets just one person to stop texting and driving, it’s worth it.”I know two people my age fairly young they were texting and driving and drinking and driving. It took their life and it can really happen to anybody. It’s just really a numbers game and how often you do it,” said UNITE’s Chris Bennett.

Students who experienced the simulator also got a mock ticket after their drive, to show the legal consequences of texting while driving.

UNITE will continue taking its “Arrive Alive” program across the country, hoping to stop texting while driving.

Arrive alive: Students take simulator for a test drive

by Deborah Buckhalter / Jackson County Floridan

Exercise brings home the danger of texting and driving
Posted: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 3:01 pm

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All this week, students of driving age in Jackson County will have a chance to get behind the wheel of a stationary car outfitted with equipment that will let them “drive” the car using the gas, brake and steering wheel as they normally would, navigating a route of travel presented via a virtual reality set-up.

The student behind the wheel is asked to use his or her phone to send and read text messages while driving the course.

Some students wound up “wrecking” because their texting distracted them from the road. Sometimes, pedestrians were in peril, as well.

While they’re running their course, their classmates watch their progress on a television monitor mounted just behind the driver’s side of the car.

It was a set-up that had students at Marianna High School bunched together and focused on the screen Tuesday morning. No teachers had to keep them corralled there; their interest was intense.

That was just what Jackson County Sheriff Lou Roberts had hoped would happen, along with a fervent hope that the students would carry away a lasting message from the experience. Seeing themselves veer from the course while texting might break the guilty from the habit of texting and driving, and lead the youngest drivers to a personal commitment to never text and drive, he believes.

Roberts arranged the Arrive Alive Tour from UNITE, the roughly $10,500 cost funded through support from the Jackson County Commission, local car dealers who donated the use of the vehicles temporarily outfitted for the event, auto insurance companies who chipped in some dollars, as well as with money from a special crime prevention fund at the sheriff’s department. Greta Langley of Allstate Insurance and James Coyle Mayo of Mayo Insurance Company presented checks to Roberts earlier this month, with Langley also providing some anti-texting take-home materials for the students. Roberts said he believed the program will have long term effects on young drivers coming of age at a time when texting and driving is an increasingly common danger.

The simulator was stationed at Sneads High on Monday, will be at Malone School on Wednesday, at Graceville High on Thursday and at Cottondale High on Friday. It is at each school from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., with students visiting the simulator station in small batches.

Virtually all students of driving age will have been behind the wheel by the time the week is up, Roberts hopes.

National Driving Safety Tour Visits UTPA


arrive-alive-cmyk-300x200Pharr native Ines Varela was texting and driving on campus March 3 when she crashed, with no injuries resulting. She was only driving a simulator, and was able to see the effects that distracted driving can have in a life-like scenario.

The simulation setup is part of the national Arrive Alive Tour, promoted by the health and wellness organization Unite International. The three-month tour has been visiting high schools and colleges for about two weeks. Students are allowed to experience the risk of texting and driving, or drunk driving, without being in a dangerous situation. Other Texas schools the tour has visited include Abilene Christian University and Houston St. Thomas University.

Unite is an organization that advocates all around wellness by visiting schools from elementary to colleges and holding events that include drivers’ education and bully prevention.

 Between the Wellness and Recreational Center and Student Health Services, members of Arrive Alive set up their test-drive station. The vehicle was placed on platform disks that allow the wheels to move, while still keeping the car at a standstill. Sensors were connected to the steering wheel, gas pedal and brake. The sensors were also connected to a computer in the backseat so when the driver turned the wheel, the on-screen simulation was turning as well as the actual tires.

 “You just put in: ‘They’ve had this many drinks in this amount of time, male or female’ and the computer kind of takes it from there. It calculates their blood alcohol content and then it’ll simulate it accordingly,” said simulation facilitator Jake Azman, a Michigan native working on the tour.

 Blood Alcohol Content refers to the amount of alcohol contained in a person’s blood and is usually expressed in percentage. In Texas, the level of legal intoxication is .08 percent, but how soon a person gets intoxicated can vary depending on age, gender and weight

 During the simulation, the driver puts on glasses that show a complete 180-degree city scene to travel through. If they are trying to text and drive, they wear the glasses while messaging. If they are imitating a drunk driver, the computer gives the glasses tunnel vision, blurry vision and delayed reactions.

 A usual tour set up will have a tv screen displayed outside the vehicle so passers-by can see the driver’s point of view in the simulator.

 ”Our main purpose is advocacy against people getting behind the wheel when they’ve had too much to drink, and for keeping their cell phones in pockets when they’re driving,” said Azman, a 21-year-old Grand Rapids Community College student. “It’s going to be effective to show what’s it’s like.”

 In 2011 McAllen city leaders banned sending and reading texts and browsing the Internet while driving. Prior to that, Texas banned drivers from using phones in school zones, and intermediate license drivers from cellphone usage altogether, including hands-free devices such as headsets.

 According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 453 statewide fatalities in 2012 due to distracted driving.This includes driver inattention or cell-phone use.

 “I think our generation is just so used to having everything at their fingertips now. They do it so often that they don’t even think, ‘I’m driving I should put my phone away,’” Azman said. “Our generation, we always have our phone on us. We don’t think about putting it down even when we’re in the car.”

 The simulation facilitator explained that members of the tour go to about four schools a week. The drill takes on more urgency before Spring Break and high schools’ prom season because alcohol is often involved on those occasions.

 When it comes to drunk driving, there were 376 DUI fatalities in Texas involving drivers between ages 21-30 in 2012 and 88 deaths under age 21, according to TxDOT.

 The simulation volunteer Varela explained that she never drives under the influence because her brother died in a drunk driving accident when she was a senior in high school. However, the rehabilitation major admitted to sometimes fumbling with her phone while on the road.

 The 23-year-old Varela explained that she’s never been in an accident while texting, but crashing in the simulator was a wakeup call and she is going to try keeping the phone in her pocket from now on.

 “As far as texting and driving, I think that I do it because it’s just a habit,” she said. “You get the text, and maybe there’s a red light and think, ‘I can check it really quick,’ and you think it’s somewhat important, but it’s not that important. It can wait.”

Simulator shows texting and driving don’t mix


Posted on November 15, 2013 at 4:59 PM

AUBURN, Wash. — For many drivers, it’s simply a habit. The cell phone beeps and a text message arrives. Of course, you respond.

Except, you’re driving 60 miles per hour on a busy interstate. Distracted driving is against the law in Washington state It contributed to 758 deaths between 2004 and 2008.

“Texting and driving can be just as bad as driving while drunk, ” said James Pratt, of Arrive Alive Tour.

The national awareness campaign is making an appearance at the Green River Community College. The campaign has a specially fixed up car, where students can actually try driving and texting at the same time for a real experience.

“People are given are real lesson on this simulator to show them what happens when you text and drive,” Pratt said.

Student Dashinique Gonzalez got behind the wheel. She admits readily that she sometimes texts and drives.

“I was driving Thursday and posted an update on Facebook,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez sat behind the wheel, and after a brief introduction, she hit the road. The ride only takes about 30 seconds. In that time, while texting and driving, Gonzalez received three citations and hit another car.

“It was really scary, I had no idea how easy it is to lose control,” said Gonzalez.

The Arrive Alive Tour also has a pledge sheet, encouraging students to sign a promise to never text and drive again. After her experience, Gonzalez was happy to sign it.

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