Tecumseh students learn first hand the dangers of driving impaired

Monday, May 06, 2019 @ 6:19 PM
By Riley Newton - Staff Writer

Students at Tecumseh High School took part in a driving simulation that allowed them to see the effects of texting and driving, as well as driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Tecumseh High School welcomed the UNITE Arrive Alive Tour on Monday, five days before prom, in which students use a virtual reality simulator to recreate the effects of impaired or distracted driving.

“Every time our students get behind the wheel of a car, we want them to remember the day that they went through this simulator and what it looked like and what happened,” said Tecumseh Local Schools superintendent Paula Crew.

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Crew herself tried the simulation with the, “driving under the influence of alcohol,” setting. The simulation was set at a .12 blood alcohol content. The legal limit in the state of Ohio for someone 21 and over is .08. According to UNITE, most accidents occur when a driver’s BAC is between .06 and .10.

“It was hard. I couldn’t stay in my lane,” Crew said. “My reactions were just slow.”

UNITE’s Arrive Alive simulation uses technology which displays the impaired/distracted driver’s perspective to both the participants and observers outside the vehicle.

The participant sits in the driver’s seat of the car with a headset over their eyes. The headset projects a simulation of a road, with what drivers may experience while under the influence. Drivers experience slowed reaction times, fading in and out of consciousness and drifting between lanes.

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Those watching the participant can follow how the driver is doing by watching a television screen of what the driver is seeing in their headset.

Macy Burner, a senior at Tecumseh High School, also tried the simulation with the, “driving under the influence of alcohol,” setting.

“Everything was really delayed. When I would turn the wheel, or hit the gas, or anything, I was just so delayed,” Burner said.

Burner said she thinks the simulation is very beneficial for teens.

“They can actually get behind the wheel and then see what it is actually like to be a drunk driver,” Burner said. “It was a lot harder than I expected it to be, I think other kids would feel the same.”