National Safe Driving Tour Visits Whitesboro

Posted: Oct 13, 2014 6:16 PM EDT
WHITESBORO, TX–We’ve been told repeatedly not to drink or text while driving, but Monday Whitesboro High School students had the chance to experience those scenarios and learn what could happen if their decisions behind the wheel put them in harms way.

Whitesboro teens put on their beer goggles  at school Monday morning and got to see what it feels like to be distracted behind the wheel. The Arrive Alive Tour made a pit stop in Texoma for the day and offered students two simulator options: drinking and driving or texting and driving.

Arrive Alive team leader Tyler Herbstreith said distracted driving is a serious problem, and leads to the majority of crashes.

“Eighty percent of all accidents are caused by a distracted driver,” said Herbstreith. “That could be anything from eating to putting makeup on in the car, to texting or drinking and driving.”

This is exactly why Whitesboro faculty wanted to bring the program to their students–knowing that many do have dangerous driving habits.

“Programs like this are great for planting a seed, and it gets kids’ attention,” said Vice Sharp, director of intervention services at Whitesboro High.

And their attempt to drive the message home worked.

Junior Breanna Ebbs said: “I drove on the incorrect side of the road, I had a head-on collision, I didn’t stop for a red light. So really, I was so distracted that I didn’t realize anything going on around me.”

Senior Thomas Morales said, “We text and drive all the time, but this thing that we went through today shows you that you shouldn’t.”

Young drivers also said the fake citations were a good way to make them face reality.

“Definitely just be smarter when you’re driving,” said senior Cody Lang. “Think about what you’re doing before you do it.”

About 200 students went through the Arrive Alive simulator today, and almost all of those kids signed a pledge not to get behind the wheel if they’re distracted or have had one too many. Faculty says it’s a program they hope to bring to the school every two  years.