Students learn about consequences of distracted driving

March 6, 2015

The Clare-Gladwin Career Center’s Automotive  Technology students watch as a classmate tries the  Arrive Alive simulator.

The Clare-Gladwin Career Center’s Automotive
Technology students watch as a classmate tries the
Arrive Alive simulator.

The Clare-Gladwin Career Center’s Criminal Justice students recently joined UNITE – a national company that works to prevent unsafe driving behaviors – in educating their classmates, Mid Michigan Community College (MMCC) students, and community members about the potential consequences of drunk and distracted driving through the Arrive Alive Tour.

The program used a number of resources to heighten awareness of the dangers of drunk driving and texting while driving, including a high-tech simulator that allowed participants to sit in the “driver’s seat” and experience the outcomes of distracted and impaired driving in a controlled environment. A Passenger-Eye-View monitor gave those standing near the simulator the chance to see what the driver was experiencing. Each participant also received a mock ticket that explained the ramifications of their simulator experience. “Most students thought that they would be able to whip right through the simulator course,” said DJ Newman, Criminal Justice instructor. “However, most of them failed within seconds.” According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers younger than 20 years old have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes.

Additionally, the Criminal Justice students spent time in classrooms of their peers to further enforce the dangers of these illegal driving behaviors by sharing statistics and facts, and conducting mock sobriety tests. During the tests, the other students wore goggles that replicated how their vision would be impacted if impaired.
Approximately 300 people participated in the day’s activities.

The Arrive Alive Tour event was made possible by the Clare-Gladwin Career Center, MMCC, MidMichigan Health, the Clare County Sheriff’s Department, the Clare County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Clare City Police Department.

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