On Monday, November 13, 2017, Driver’s Alert visited Katz Yeshiva High School of South Florida in Boca Raton, Florida where the Arrive Alive Tour was educating students about the dangers of distracted driving and drunk driving. The Arrive Alive Tour visits high school and college campuses around the United States, giving students an opportunity to try out its texting and driving and drunk driving simulators. It’s a powerful way to allow students to experience how texting and being intoxicated can negatively impact safe operation of a motor vehicle.
Rich Sordahl, VP of Marketing at Driver’s Alert, asked Arrive Alive Tour representative Alexis Melinn about the organization’s mission and the impact she thinks their work is having. Alexis lost a friend to drunk driving and this inspired her to join the Arrive Alive Tour team. She believes she is seeing a change in attitude regarding distracted driving and sees much more work ahead. When it comes to distracted driving, it is evident that laws are not enough. The activity must become socially unacceptable before we will see a significant reduction in the phenomenon.
— Arrive Alive (@arrivealivetour) November 13, 2017
We watched dozens of students take a crack at the simulator, which is actually a very impressive setup. The Arrive Alive Tour uses a Jeep with sensors linked to a laptop computer. Before hopping in the vehicle, you must choose either the distracted driving or the drunk driving option. For the drunk driving option, you can select the level of intoxication. Once inside the vehicle, you place virtual reality goggles over your head and an Arrive Alive Tour representative begins the simulation, which is managed from a computer in the back seat. Because the two front tires are sitting on top of swiveling supports, the steering wheel can be turned just like you would while actually driving. Both the brake and accelerator pedals are active as well.
I gave the drunk driving course a couple of tries and failed miserably with a blood alcohol level of 0.11. The goggles make your vision blurry and the steering wheel becomes less responsive to simulate degraded reaction times during an actual drunk driving event. Each time I ended up crashing the vehicle after only about ten seconds. When the simulation was over, I received a “DUI citation” that included infractions for speeding, swerving, driving below the posted speed, driving on the incorrect side of the road, driving off the road and being involved in a collision. The good news is, I didn’t kill anyone. Even better news—it wasn’t real.
But the message was received loud and clear. Texting and driving and driving while intoxicated are extremely dangerous activities and should never be practiced. The Arrive Alive Tour is serving a great role for the young drivers of America and we hope they continue to do more great work. Thank you to the Arrive Alive Tour team for allowing Driver’s Alert to spend a few hours with you, learning about your organization. And thank you to Katz Yeshiva High School for welcoming Driver’s Alert to your beautiful campus. Everyone was incredibly friendly.
To learn more about the Arrive Alive Tour, visit www.ArriveAliveTour.org.