Teens Learn Dangers of Driving Distracted

Published 04/23 2014 06:20PM

Updated 04/24 2014 01:18PM

(PLATTE CITY, Mo.) Driving while distracted is more than a trending topic, it has become so common that one teenager wants to help prevent tragedies by making others aware.   

Students at Platte County High School got the chance to see first-hand the dangers of distracted driving by getting behind the wheel of a simulator.

"It was terrible, I felt like someone kept pushing me to the side and constantly felt like I was going to fall over," said Andre' Dodge, a student at Platte County High School.

Dodge was one several students who participated in Wednesday's Arrive Alive event to promote safe driving for teens. Interactive simulators made the educational program a little fun, while still teaching a valuable lesson.

"Some of the things they have here where kids are able to put on drunk goggle glasses and simulate some of the effects of vision impairment that alcohol has," said Sgt. Jerin Almond, with the Platte County Sheriff's Office.

Law enforcement say by showing students a hands-on approach of what could happen if they were to drive under the influence or distracted gives them a better idea of what could happen.

Police say they see accidents caused by distracted drivers on a regular basis. They hope students take something away from the exercise that could save their life.

"It's always good to remind them that the texting can wait. Pulling over if you need to make that phone call, the safer the better," added Almond.

Gabriel Unruh, a senior at Platte County High School, started the Arrive Alive event because he saw there was a need in the area. 

"You look down at your phone for a few seconds, you make the wrong choice and this could be any of us and I think it's important that they understand that they can make a difference by not doing some of these things they see today," said Unruh.

The program is something Unruh hopes will help his peers make better decisions before getting behind the wheel.

"As a teen, it gives me hope that young people like me can change our communities and change our world for the better," added Unruh.

The Arrive Alive event is held in April in conjunction with Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

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