Bad Axe students take crash course in distracted, impaired driving

Published: May. 10, 2019 at 6:05 PM EDT
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(05/10/19) - The Arrive Alive tour by UNITE pulled into Bad Axe High School Friday morning with a real-life lesson about impaired and distracted driving.

"There's sensors on the gas, break and steering wheel, and we run them through distracted simulation or impaired," explained Kent Tiedman, simulation operator for UNITE.

The simulation takes students through situations where the have been drinking, are texting and driving, and now driving high.

"Surprised me was like going off the road and stuff. And swerving," said D'Carlos Sageman, a freshman who will be beginning driver's training this summer.

Tiedman said the goal is simple. "To try to give them a more realistic view of how those things affect your driving ability."

Arrive Alive is the nation's first drugged driving virtual reality simulator. The Michigan-based company added high driving after seeing a few states legalize recreational marijuana use.

Students said they were surprised by what happened.

"I thought I'd be able to control it but as soon as you got up to speed, it, you couldn't even, you could barely steer," said Ashton Carr, a ninith grade student. "I was really surprised, I thought I had it under control, but all of a sudden I lost all control."

The Arrive Alive team sees a lot of bad things happen in the controlled environment.

"A lot of crashes happen, a lot of people swerving on the wrong side of the road, going through red lights," Tiedeman said.

They hand out fake tickets and share what could happen.

"Leading cause of death for teenagers are car accidents, and a quarter of those accidents are caused by underage drinking. So it's things that are happening that we hopefully will lower those numbers," Tiedman said.