As part of the texting while driving and drunk driving programs at Arrive Alive Tour, they brought their distracted driving simulator to North Greene High School recently. The programs are designed to show the participants the dangers of texting and driving, as well as drinking and driving.
Distracted Driving Simulator
The program travels nationwide, as the distracted driving simulator teaches participants about safe driving. This is a hands-on approach using an actual Jeep Patriot, virtual reality goggles and Bluetooth sensors on the vehicle. Mallory McKenzie, one of the road crew facilitators at Arrive Alive Tour, told the Journal-Courier that the teenagers always go into the simulator with a bit of over-confidence. She said, “We hear it all day. They’ll get in there and they’ll be very surprised that they can’t text or they’ll say, ‘That vehicle came into my lane, that’s not my fault.’ Well, that happens in real life. It’s your responsibility not to be texting, not to be drinking, because now you’re responsible as well.”
Like A Video Game
The Arrive Alive Tour is not trying to turn the distracted driving simulator into a video game, but we are trying to make it feel like a real-life situation. It gives the participants the real-life consequences of the decisions they make behind the wheel. One of the participants at North Greene High School was Brendan Willenburg, 18 of White Hall. He took part in the distracted driving simulation and had to send a “Happy Birthday” text while maintaining a 40 mph speed. It did not go well for Willenburg, as he said, “I didn’t have high hopes for the texting and driving. I would never do that, but I thought I’d do pretty well. The drunk driving though, I crashed really bad. I wasn’t surprised too much about the drunk driving. I’ve seen what can happen first hand and it’s bad, but the texting and driving I was surprised about how it went.”
The same goes for Alexandria Madden, 19, of White Hall. She said, “I can’t text and drive, that’s not my thing. I’m not surprised.”
Arrive Alive Tour
The tour makes stops across the country, as we work with schools, colleges and corporations. McKenzie said, “We’ll come out to anyplace you can think of where safety and driving is involved and important. I like our program because it’s hands on … getting the wheel in their hands is important, I think. It’s another angle and I think we need to be hitting this problem from all sides.”