by Debra Johnson, Published October 12, 2012
YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University welcomes the UNITE's Arrive Alive Tour - a virtual reality high-tech simulator driving experience designed to educate students and the campus community of the dangers and consequences of drunk driving and distracted driving.
The Arrive Alive Tour, provided by UNITE International, will be held at the entrance of the Student Center, located at 900 Oakwood Street, on Monday, Oct. 15. The program will be offered between 12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., and is free and open to anyone who would like to participate.
UNITE's Arrive Alive program uses a high-tech simulator, an impact video, and a number of other resources to allow those behind the wheel to experience the potential consequences of texting while driving and driving under the influence of alcohol. Participants will wear virtual reality goggles and drive on a course that resembles a video game. During the exercise, a text message or other distraction will occur that the student must respond to while driving.
"The Wellness Center in partnership with Student Government believe this event will engage our campus community on the hazards and potential negative consequences from dangerous driving situations," said Eric Ward, program coordinator at EMU's Wellness Center. "The Arrive Alive tour will give participants immediate feedback which can assist in prevention of accidents in the future."
It's a well-known fact that one of the most recognized driving distractions is cell phone use. About 89 percent of all Americans have a cell phone, according to CTIA - The Wireless Association. Drivers under 20 years old have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Their lack of driving experience can contribute to critical misjudgments if they become distracted. Not surprisingly, they text more than any other age group and the numbers of young drivers who text is only increasing.
"We are excited to bring this type of interactive event to EMU," said Ward. "It's a great example of how collaboration can make a positive impact on our campus."
UNITE International, is a national health and wellness organization based in Grand Rapids, MI, that brings health and wellness programs to high school and college campuses across the nation. Their programs are designed to heighten awareness to the dangers and consequences of drunk driving and distracted driving.
For more information, go to http://www.dwiprevention.org/. If you have any questions, please contact Eric Ward, program coordinator for the Wellness Center at EMU at 734-487-2226 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.