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Don’t Drink and Drive: The Simulator

Cody Sung

Volume 4 Issue 4

May 29, 2024

Don’t Drink and Drive: The Simulator

Image Provided by Elaine Ching

Ever wanted to know what it’s like to drive drunk without the risk? Ever wonder why it’s important to not drive after drinking? The juniors and seniors at North got the answers to these questions at the Save a Life Tour event in the gymnasium on Thursday, March 28, 2024. 

The Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) club helped organize this event along with the company behind the Save a Life Tour, Educational Support Systems Inc. The Save a Life Tour comes to North every year thanks to this partnership, with this year’s event being the latest installment, with both seniors and juniors being able to sign up for it. 

Once they entered the gym, the students had a chance to wear a headset that simulated vision while drunk and attempt to put shapes into a container while wearing the headset. They then were able to sit down at two simulators – one for drinking and driving and one for distracted driving. 

Both simulators had a large screen, a chair, a brake, and a gas pedal in front of it, and a repurposed Xbox controller as a steering wheel. The screen showed a car interior that reacted to input from the steering wheel and the pedals and a city with various vehicles and pedestrians. The drunk driving simulator had a VR headset that showed the view inside the car and delayed reactions to simulate the participant being drunk, while the distracted driving simulator involved the participant using a phone to simulate texting while driving. 

I got to help with the event and tried both simulators myself. I do not know how to drive, so it made both simulators even more difficult. I began with the drunk driving simulator – I pushed the gas pedal to start, began to drive...then fell off a cliff into the water. I tried it again and got stuck on a curb before crashing – again. I had a bit more luck with the distracted driving simulator and managed to avoid cars and drive quite a bit before crashing into a small pole. I tried again and got stuck on a curb, got off the curb, got onto the highway, and crashed into a car after driving 60 miles an hour, mostly on the median to avoid other cars. 

In the end, we all had fun and got an experience to help us learn about the dangers of drunk and distracted driving. Afterward, the participants had the opportunity to fill out questionnaires about their experiences with the simulators, sign a pledge not to drive distracted or drunk, and get a rubber wristband. I had a lot of fun helping with the event and am glad it showed people the dangers of drunk and distracted driving. I hope everyone reading this will learn to protect themselves and others by not drinking alcohol before driving and not being distracted by anything while on the road. 

For more information, go to home - Save A Life Tour 

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