As students get ready for spring break, this is a crucial time to remind them of the dangers of impaired and distracted driving. During a recent visit from UNITE’s Arrive Alive Tour students at Mary Institute and St. Louis County Day School learned about what it’s like to drive while texting or under the influence of alcohol or marijuana.
Distracted Driving Simulator
For the simulation, the Arrive Alive Tour brought in a full-size Jeep Patriot. The students and faculty were able to experience the dangers of impaired and distracted driving, but in a controlled environment. They drove on courses which simulated city streets, highways, and mountainside roads. Wearing state of the art high definition virtual reality goggles, the students got a very real feel for how hard it can be to operate a car while drunk, distracted, or high on marijuana. They got a real “crash course” in how dangerous these issues are.
After putting on the virtual reality goggles, many students were surprised at how difficult it was to drive. “The moment the screen started cracking when I hit the car was terrifying,” said junior Elena Thomas. “I thought ‘Oh this is what actually happens and this could actually happen to me later.”
Helping Spread Awareness
The Arrive Alive Tour is trying to help spread awareness on the dangers of distracted driving. During these stops, the tour has two road crew facilitators helping out at each event. A company spokesperson said, “A felony stays on your record. That stuff is life-altering. Our goal is to change one person’s life in some way, each event. I see people thinking about it; I see it changing people’s lives.”