Presidio School students try their hand at driving behind a virtual wheel

Published: Nov. 7, 2019 at 6:42 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Students at Presidio School got a firsthand look at what police said its like to drive impaired.

Arrive alive tour made its only stop in Tucson on Thursday school. All students, from seventh-graders to high school seniors, put on virtual reality goggles and got behind the wheel.

The interactive exercise simulates slower reaction times when drivers are drunk, high or texting with exaggerated movements alongside a pulsing white light.

“I don’t think it’s going to go well,” said Aspen Tramm, a senior at Presidio.

Tramm has never been behind the wheel before. When her virtual reality phone goes off, she crashes almost immediately.

In a AAA poll, more than 50 percent of teens admitted to reading a text or email while driving.

Other students tried a simulation that mimicks driving under the influence of alcohol.

“I definitely lost control,” said Moises Yepez. “I totally forgot about the brake … you’re in there, you totally forget.”

The Arrive Alive tour claims to have the only marijuana-impairment simulator in the nation — giving drivers a virtual joint before getting behind the wheel.

“It was blurry kind of,” said Victoria Bonet. “I couldn’t see.”

One study found more than 40 percent of drivers in fatal crashes tested positive for drugs. The school wanted even their younger students to participate to understand the realities of driving impaired.

It’s a lesson many of these kids said they will take to heart.

“Even though you think doing it one time might be harmless, that one time could be then end of your life or someone else’s,” Tramm said.

Copyright 2019 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.