In a short thirty-second demonstration, students at Cumberland County College learned a sobering lesson about drunk and distracted driving that they will carry with them on to the road.
“Not answering my phone, never drinking and driving, just focus,” said student Brittany Church.
“I found it very effective cause I’m pretty sure a lot of people text and drive or drink and drive and they have the visuals of what can happen hands on.”
“It was cool because I never knew what it was like to drive drunk and now I’ll never do it,” said student Melissa Burwick.
The simulator was brought to campus as part of the Arrive Alive Tour from the awareness group UNITE.
“They can try texting and driving by taking their phone out and sending text messages or drinking and driving. We slow down their reaction time, affect their hand eye coordination and see how they do” said Arrive Alive Team Leader Tyler Herbstreith.
Fake citations are handed out to increase the realistic feel to the simulation all while a TV screen continuously displays the images of real life distracted driving accidents.
“I think it’s a realistic experience for them in a safe environment so they get to actually try to see what its like and hopefully it opens their eyes for them,” said Herbstreith.
This is one of three simulators that routinely visits colleges and high schools around the country. This hands on educational tool allows students to feel the steering wheel and gas pedal and witness the effects of drunk and distracted driving. And while everyone walked away from head on collisions without a scratch today, the impact of the demonstration was certainly felt.
“It made me think of people that who died and their kids,” said Angel Moreno.
“It’s dramatic. I wouldn’t do it.”
‘It gives you a chance to experience it in a safe environment which is exactly what you want to do if you want to learn about it,” said student Brandon Hinton.
All of the participants today were also given pictures of themselves in the simulator to place on their key chains and serve as a reminder before they get behind the wheel.