Distracted driving simulator designed to help students ‘Arrive Alive’

HUMBOLDT, Tenn. — Humboldt Junior/Senior High School students are getting a crash course in driving while impaired.

“Distracted driving is actually one of the worst problems in Tennessee,” simulator operator Mallory McKenzie said. “You’re dead last in the nation.”

It’s thanks to the Tennessee Highway Safety Office and a grant to bring “Arrive Alive” to Tennessee.

“They see the pamphlets, the talks, the lectures. They want to know themselves. They’ll do it one way or another, and this way they’re doing it in a safe environment,” McKenzie said.

And the students were feeling pretty confident. They all said they thought it would be easier.

But WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News reporter Josh Robinson couldn’t let the students have all the fun. He hopped into the simulator to find out what it’s like to drive while texting or impaired.

And he learned, quickly, that texting and driving is a bad idea.

The students didn’t do too well either.

“I got swerving and driving off the road, because when I was driving I couldn’t really see what I was doing because I was trying to text on my phone,” Ty Gilman, a junior at Humboldt Junior/Senior High School, said.

They say they’ll be able to use what they learned on the road.

“Do not text or drive or have any other distractions that will keep your eyes off the road,” Jayla Cook, a junior, said.

“Not to drive and text, or drinking and driving, or none of that. Just be focused while driving, put my phone on ‘do not disturb’ while driving,” Eyanna Hernandez, a junior, said.

Arrive Alive will provide five simulations each week while they are here in Tennessee.

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