Our View: ‘Arrive Alive™’ Teaches Teens Dangers of Distracted Driving



Teens between the ages of 16 and 19 have the highest number of traffic crashes and traffic violations among all drivers, statistics show, with traffic crashes the leading cause of death for teens nationwide.

Distracted driving cost 2,092 lives in 2010 and caused injury to another 416,000 people, according to the U.S. Government Distracted Driver website.Teens are more likely than older, more experienced drivers to take risks when behind the wheel, with speeding, texting while driving and driving while under the influence leading the list of violations.But cities across the nation are combating those troubling statistics through programs like the “Arrive Alive™ Tour,” which was brought to Calexico High School by the city’s Police Department earlier this week. Calexico was the first school in the Imperial Valley to participate in the program.

This wasn’t the usual kind of presentation, though. Instead of viewing gruesome images or movies simulating crashes, about 150 of Calexico’s kids got a taste of what it feels like to be “driving” using a 3-D headset in a driving simulator vehicle. The students were given the option of “driving” while texting or while under the influence to mimic the effects of alcohol use.

They also were taught the monetary cost of making bad choices, where driving and drinking could cost thousands of dollars, not to mention the cost to human life.

While adults could learn a thing or two from programs like these, it is documented fact that teens’ decision-making is affected by their still-developing brains, and disastrous choices can result when those still-developing brains are calling the shots for young people learning to drive.

Programs such as “Arrive Alive™” give these young drivers a taste of the closest thing to reality.

This program cost the Calexico Police Department about $1,800; that’s small change if it helps save even one life.