Spring break is rapidly approaching, but with the week of fun and relaxation comes the potential for great risks. To remind students to play it safe this spring break, Saint Leo welcomed back the “Save a Life Tour” on Mar. 7.
“The number one killer of teens is texting and driving. I think that it’s really important that we’re going out and raising awareness and showing people just how dangerous technology is, how dangerous alcohol is,” said Kevin Arney, a member of the “Save a Life Tour.”
The purpose of the event is to warn teenagers and young adults about the fatal risks involved with drinking, and or texting and driving. And there’s no better way to do so than putting them behind the wheel.
“We’ve got the alcohol simulator, which delays the steering gaps in the brake to simulate the effects of alcohol in those who are driving,” explained Arney. “Then we’ve got the texting and driving simulator where we just, well, have people text and drive. My job is to talk to the people as they are driving and try to distract them.”
The drunk driving simulator consisted of three levels. As the student drove, there level of intoxication would increase and driving would become more difficult. In a matter of seconds, the driver went from being in complete control to crashing into a wall or another vehicle. No one successfully made it to level three.
“It felt as if I were driving an actual car while drunk,” said Vinay Angirekula, a business management major. “I made it to level two, then hit a car!”
The distracted driving simulator was somewhat easier to manipulate, but deterred focus. A cellphone would send student drivers a text every twenty seconds, which Arney would encourage them to answer without crashing, of course. This also proved to be a difficult, and potentially fatal, task.
“With spring break just around the corner, we really wanted to make sure that we brought some sort of alcohol awareness to campus because we do understand that alcohol consumption is a big part of spring break,” said Morgan Baum, the Assistant Director of Student Activities.
Baum is looking forward to seeing the “Save a Life Tour” return to campus next year. She and other participating staff and students feel that it has been an effect learning experience, one that they’d enjoy trying again and again.
Angirekula encouraged other students to attempt the simulators. “Please try it,” he said. “It will actually feel like you are saving a life.”
“Just be safe over spring break, please,” Baum added hopefully.
To learn more about the tour and its crusade against the dangers of distracted driving, visit the website at www.savealifetour.com