Published 2:00 am Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Troy University students got to experience distracted driving and drunk driving virtually with the Arrive Alive tour Monday.
The criminal justice department brought the Arrive Alive tour to Troy as part of a senior project.
“We wanted to let people be exposed to what could possibly happen,” said Casey Bell, senior criminal justice major at Troy University. “At least everyone that text and drove had at least two counts of manslaughter. It’s been pretty funny and entertaining, but also very informative at the same time.”
As part of the program, students sat in a real car, put on glasses and drove through a virtual world. The blood alcohol content was set differently for each student who chose to experience drunk driving, and the virtual world changed according to the BAC.
Students wanting to participate in the distracted driving simulator had to completely look under the glasses to access any other information, showing how much your eyes go off the road when reading a text message.
“Distracted driving is the leading cause in teen deaths right now,” Bell said. “We all know that people have a huge problem with texting and driving. Before, drunk driving was a lead killer in young adults and even older adults.”
When students got out of the car, a member of the Arrive Alive team greeted them with a ticket, and explained the penalties and the expenses of what would have happened in a real-life situation.
“It was definitely eye-opening in the fact that it can happen and that you don’t really have control,” said Shelby Morgan, senior at Troy University. “It’s scary to see it.”
Chris Emmorey, team leader and simulator tech with Arrive Alive, said that he feels like students get more out of it if they experience the situation firsthand.
“Just like the average text takes five seconds away from your eyes being on the road, we want you to experience that,” Emmorey said. “We make it a little more difficult and make you react to different situations because it just takes a second.”
Emmorey said that he sees people texting and driving every day, and people need to be aware of the danger.
“Every five cars, I see someone on their phone and it’s irritating,” Emmorey said. “We are just trying to share the message that it only takes one time.”