This archived article was written by: Seth Richards
Students at USU Eastern had the opportunity to learn what it feels like to drive distracted or under the influence without posing a threat on the road on March 7.
Darrin Brandt, director of the campus counseling and disability resource center, and Intern Jennifer Falsoni, organized a drunk and distracted-driving simulation on the USU Eastern track to raise awareness about drunk and distracted driving before spring vacation.
James Prettyman, director of public safety, is credited with laying out the course The first part of which required students to drive between the cones and park with glasses that simulated different levels of intoxication. The second part required driving while texting; an idea of Brandt’s to make the experience more sobering.
In the four hours that the simulation was being run, Brandt estimates that nearly 70 students drove the course.
“I think it was great. People were laughing and having a good time, but it was also sobering to them.” Brandt said, “I think we got the point across.”
In spite of the safety of driving in carts on a secluded track, distracted driving proved more dangerous than anticipated. In the latter half of the simulation, a student took a turn too fast and flipped one of the campus carts on its side and slid. The cart and student were uninjured, although the cart received some scrapes to its plastic and the intern’s pants tore.
“Things just happen so quickly when under the influence or distracted while driving.” Says Prettyman, “Things can go awry quickly.”