The students at Ontario High School in Oregon got to experience the texting and driving programs offered by the Arrive Alive Tour this week. Students learned the dangers of distracted driving in a controlled environment thanks to the health and wellness program.
Argus Observer Article
While at Ontario High School, the Argus Observer covered the event. They spoke with Ken Tiedmen, one of our road crew leaders. He stated that 64 percent of accidents are caused by cellphone use. Our simulator was at Ontario High School for two days this past week. The simulator is built into an SUV and allows participants to experience the potential consequences of distracted and impaired driving.
For the simulation, students got into the Jeep and put on a pair of virtual reality goggles. Students had to “drive” on the road. Then being asked to take out their cellphones and send a text message. The vehicle does not actually move, but the students had the ability to work both the gas pedal and brakes, as well as control the steering wheel.
Results from the Texting and Driving Programs
Students received tickets after experiencing the simulator. The tickets showed the number of traffic infractions they incurred. To say the least, things did not go well for the students. Citations handed out for swerving, driving below the posted speed limit, speeding and driving on the wrong side of the road.
Tiedman said, “We’re hoping to bring awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. The danger is real out there.” He went on to say that a USA Today poll asked seniors at high schools across the country is they ever used a phone application or sent a text while driving. Of those asked, 70 percent said they did.
Texting and Driving Facts
While students were participating in the texting and driving programs, a video was playing outside the simulator. This allowed other students to learn more about the dangers of distracted driving. Tiedmen also gave participants reminders once they finished the simulation. This included the fact that drivers are 23 times more likely to be in an accident if they are texting and driving.
The Program Helps
The Argus Observer got the chance to speak with some of the students that participated in the event. Colsie Suitter, an 11th grader, thought the Arrive Alive Tour was a good program for the school. She said, “I don’t think kids know how distracted they can get. I hope they realize what they are potentially doing to themselves and others.”
While the Arrive Alive Tour also offers a drinking and driving simulator, the students at Ontario High School only participated in the texting and driving simulator.