When you have a problem you do something to try and fix it. That is why the drinking and driving program from Arrive Alive Tour was brought to Jackson County in Florida. Sneads High School recently hosted our distracted driving and drunk driving simulator. Jackson County has the highest number of teen driver deaths, per capita, in the state of Florida. Clearly, this is an issue that needs to be addressed.
Drinking and Driving Program
The county hosts several Teen Driver Challenges and Arrive Alive Tour events at the schools each year. This is because of the issues with teen drivers in Jackson County. The simulator from UNITE Corporation was brought to Sneads High School because of that reason. The event was put together by Jim Hamilton, Sneads High SRO, as he said, “Over the past seven years we have lost eleven teenagers in Jackson County. We are rated number one per capita of traffic crashes with kids.”
Our road crew facilitators talk with the students about drinking and driving, as well as texting and driving. The students then get into a Jeep Patriot and put on a pair of virtual reality goggles. The goggles are used to simulate driving under the circumstances of texting or drinking.
Max Vandewater, a member of the Arrive Alive Tour road crew, said, “Once they step out, I usually have my partner hand them a DUI or texting and driving citation. Which, things start becoming a lot more real when you tell them, that actually cost 12 grand. That actually cost 20 grand. These are the repercussions that you’re dealing with when you’re actually taking control of the wheel and drinking and driving or texting and driving.”
Putting Things Into Perspective
After going through the drinking and driving simulator, it seems like some of the students are shocked by the experience. Vandewater said, “A lot of them will go, wow that was super difficult and unfair and I get to say, well life is unfair and actually people do pull out in front of you and it is super difficult when, especially when you start texting and driving. You don’t give yourself a chance to be defensive.”
That shocking moment puts things into perspective for some of the students. Jackson Milsapp, a students at Sneads High School, said, “I think it shows you the consequences of what could happen if you text and drive or drink and drive.” Trent Smith, a student at Sneads High School, added, “Yeah and you can have your life be taken, like that.”