MTU students get a virtual taste of drunk driving

Published: Apr. 20, 2018 at 4:37 PM EDT
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Students on Michigan Tech's campus got a virtual taste of the dangers of drunk driving. United Company's Arrive Alive Tour visited MTU's campus. The virtual reality simulator lets students attempt drunk and distracted driving in a safe environment.

"So, when they are driving through it puts a delay on the controls, just like if you were intoxicated your brain would have that delay. So it is not going to turn when you want to turn, it doesn't break when you want to brake. The visual gets impaired just like if you were drunk, you are not really paying attention to everything around. You are kind of just more focused on what you are looking at," said Arrive Alive team leader Ayron Auston.

"It was honestly really stressful because I drive every day and I feel like I'm a pretty good driver. But, then as soon as you get in there even with no drinks in your system it is a little cattywamperjawed and then they add stuff in and it just gets very hard," said MTU student Abi Raetz after experiencing the simulator.

Arrive Alive hopes to make a bigger impact than standard power point presentations on the dangers of drunk driving.

"We see a lot of people come out of it, like, 'Oh my god, I can't believe how bad it is.' You don't really realize it. And even if (that person) is not the one that takes away from this we are hoping that their buddies outside whenever they go out to the bar will be like, 'I saw how bad you did with that simulator. We will find another ride home.' So, yeah, that's what we kind of hope for," said Auston.

"I think it is always important to not only monitor your friends, but also make sure that they get home safely. So, I think that, not only because of this but also previous experience, I would always encourage them to find another avenue to get home," said Raetz.

Always remember to drive safe and sober and avoid distractions within the vehicle. If you've been drinking, find another way home. It is the safest thing to do.

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