Valdosta State University hosts Arrive Alive Tour ahead of spring break
VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - In February alone, Georgia State Patrol Post 31 reported 20 DUI arrests and 16 Distracted driving citations.
One organization is spreading awareness to counteract those numbers as spring break rapidly approaches.
First, you put on your seatbelt and then your virtual goggles and press on the gas to give it a little go.
The ultimate test drive awaited students to show them just how dangerous driving under the influence can be.
"This here is a texting and driving, drinking and driving virtual reality simulator, designed to highlight the dangers on the road of both of those activities, both for yourself and others," said Arrive Alive Crew Member Max Vandewater.
Some thought it would be a piece of cake, but the test soon proved that to be wrong.
The more the simulation increased the alcohol level, the harder the test became said Coordinator Mark Williams.
"It really gets the attention of the students, some of them are a little bit cavalier initially, but after that, they see just how they can be affected," explained Williams.
The simulator has height and weight adjusters.
"We can put you through any number of situations, we can personalize the experience so it really hits home for them when we start doing the simulations," said Vandewater.
There are Bluetooth sensors on the steering wheel and pedals and screens for spectators to see how tough the tour can be.
"Sometimes you'll have kids sit down and go, 'Wow that actually, whew,' they take a second to get out of the vehicle and say hey, 'I text and drive usually and this is the kind of thing that can happen,'" explained Vandewater.
With spring break starting for the students in a matter of days, the simulator serves as a timely reminder.
"As long as we change one person's mind one time about texting and driving and drinking and driving, that's plenty effective in my eyes. So, anything beyond that is definitely a win," said Vandewater.
GSP said that many times, texting and driving is a common habit that is actually worse than being impaired.
Troopers said you should keep your phone out of reach and your eyes on the road.
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