Simulator teaches West Grand Students to ‘arrive alive’ |

Simulator teaches West Grand Students to ‘arrive alive’

High school freshman Anael Castillo takes the UNITE impaired driving simulator for a spin on Nov. 25 at West Grand High School. Although she's only 15, Castillo has experience driving and found maneuvering the simulator a challenge. "It was hard," she said. "If you were to turn, it was overexaggerated."
Leia Larsen |

KREMMLING – West Grand students got an opportunity to experience firsthand – although safely – what it’s like to drive while texting or impaired.

UNITE is a company touring the country, by invitation of high schools and colleges, to educate young people on the dangers of driving while distracted or under the influence. They rig a car so it can’t move, but still responds to steering, accelerating and braking. The car is connected to a computer and goggle system simulating the experiences of being on the road while above the legal alcohol limit or while text messaging from a cell phone. On Monday, Nov. 25, they made a stop at West Grand High School, presenting documentaries on real-life accidents and giving students an opportunity to “drive” the simulator. The idea is to keep kids from engaging in risky driving behavior so they “arrive alive.”

“I just hope they take away the seriousness of their actions, whether it’s texting while driving or getting behind the wheel when they’re under the influence,” said West Grand High School principal Kyle York. “Hopefully it will prevent any of that from happening.”

Leia Larsen can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603.

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