Drunk driving is at it’s highest during the holiday season. According to drivingschool.net, 71% more crashes with drugs or alcohol as a contributing factor occurring between December 31st and January 1st.
Early reports show that this year was the worst ever. This New Year at least 50 people were killed in intoxicated driving incidents in California alone according to SFgate.com
California Highway Patrol officers arrested 1,140 statewide for driving under the influence, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. These trends were repeated throughout the country, with record-high deaths and arrests reported in many states..
The Arrive Alive tour is working to spread awareness of this danger. Using a high-tech simulator to reproduce impaired and distracted driving situations, participants are put into these situations of “driving drunk” or texting while driving, but in a controlled environment. They are sitting behind the wheel of a full-size Jeep Patriot. They are being asked to send a text message from their own phone. During that time, the virtual reality set shows the road they are driving on. For the drunk driving simulator, the actual vehicle is put into a drunk stage, not the participant. In their headset, their vision is blurred and their response time is slower than normal. This is because the blood alcohol level is changed by the road crew.
The tour has two road crew facilitators helping out at each event. Jeffrey Bateman has worked with Arrive Alive Tour for six months. He says, “A felony stays on your record. That stuff is life-altering. Our goal is to change one person’s life in some way, each event. I see people thinking about it; I see it changing people’s lives.”