Driver safety was the topic at Lincoln High School in Shinnston, West Virginia, as the Arrive Alive Tour brought their texting and driving simulator for the students to try out. This is an important issue, especially as we head into summer and the students having more and more free time on their hands.
Texting and Driving Simulator
During the simulation at Lincoln High School, the participants had the chance to choose between either the distracted driving or drunk driving scenario. The students actually got behind the wheel of a Jeep Patriot and put on a set of virtual reality goggles. The Jeep is put on Bluetooth sensors, as the gas pedal, brake pedal, wheels and steering wheel are all working and hooked up to the simulation.
The virtual reality headset allows the students to see the road in front of them. The headset also brings on obstacles along the way, like pedestrians, other drivers and road construction. WV News visited the event at Lincoln High School and spoke with Jason Shingleton, a ninth-grader, who said, “It felt like a real car, except the steering wheel was touchy. Your timing and your speed were off. It didn’t move like you thought it would.”
Some of the participants at Lincoln High School were younger and going to be attending driver’s training soon. Isaac Shell, a ninth-grader, thought the texting and driving simulator was a great program to have for these type of students. He said, “It’s very important. t’s not safe to drive under the influence or be on any kind of narcotics or drugs. Just be safe.”
The simulator even scared some of the students, but we are hoping scared enough they know never to text or drink and drive! Mariah Stockert, a ninth-grader, said, “The crashes and driving were scary. I’ve driven a car before — in my yard, not on a road. This reminded me of driving on the grass. I learned that you need to drive slower and don’t text.”
Teachers and parents and speakers can talk until they are red in the face about driving safety, but the Arrive Alive Tour gives participants a hands-on approach to learning those dangers. That is why Shinnston Police Patrolman Michael Corder, Lincoln High’s prevention resource officer, said our program is more impactful. He said, “I think it’s very important to teach young people so they can get some education about what it’s actually like to be behind of the wheel of a car and have the visual simulation of what it’s like to slow down your reaction times, what it’s like to look away from the road and realize that something can happen in a split second that can cause an accident. It doesn’t really have to be your fault, but if you’re not paying attention 100 percent of the time, it could be very dangerous for you.”