The Arrive Alive Tour made a recent stop in Arizona, as their texting while driving simulator was at Peoria High School. The students were able to learn the dangers of texting and driving while in a controlled environment, which the Peoria Times attended.
Texting While Driving Simulator
For each event, students get in an actual vehicle that is hooked up to a virtual simulator. This allows them to feel like they are driving, as onlookers can see on a TV screen what is happening. Road crew tells the students when to send a text. Then they can see how they are swerving on the roads and sometimes crashing the vehicle.
Peoria Police Officer Brian Rauzen explained while this texting while driving simulator is so important, “This is a huge educational piece to get the message across. We can tell them until we are blue in the face that they shouldn’t text and drive, but seeing something like this right in front of them is a huge difference.”
Not So Easy
During the event, Angel Garcia, a Peoria High School student, tried out the texting while driving simulator. While behind the wheel, she was told to send the “I’m on my way home” text. At the time, she was driving on a road with a speed limit of 45 mph. Needless to say, Angel failed sending the text. She said, “It was pretty cool, but kind of scary about what happened to me with a short text. I was swerving and driving on the wrong side of the road and then I drove off the road.”
Teens have admitted that they felt pressure from their friends to reply to text messages right away, even while driving. That peer pressure is a bad thing, but we had the opposite effect at our event. While Angel was driving, her fellow classmates were watching on the TV screen and laughing at her. So, our texting while driving simulator could bring good peer pressure? Angel said, “To do this with my friends laughing at the way I was driving, it really made it a little scary. This is really awesome because it will make me think more, because I have even gotten into a car with friends who text and drive and now I will think twice before I get in the car.”
Bring It To All Schools
Having the visual of the texting and driving simulator being a huge impact to these students. Rauzen said, “Being in control of a vehicle and seeing and hearing their peers, it is a joke right now, but then in five or six seconds and they are all over the road. When they do this simulator, it shows their speed increased by 10 to 15 mph, and it can be over in a blink of an eye, and we want to show them what happens in a real way.”
The Arrive Alive Tour currently brings their drunk driving and texting while driving simulator throughout the country to high schools, colleges and corporations. Rauzen happens to think that every single school should have this on their campus, “We would love to get this to every single school, if it was available. We have been able to do this through some grant money we received, but right now, it is just here (at Peoria High School). But if the funding was there, it would be a great demonstration to bring to all students to show what happens.”