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