Simulator allows students to see the possible consequences of drugged driving

Virtual reality is giving students a chance to see the potential consequences of drugged driving in a controlled environment. 

“We learn about the effects and what it does while driving but to experience it firsthand is something else,” said Senior Seamus O’Driscoll.

On Friday, the Arrive Alive Tour made a stop at Calhoun High School in Merrick. One by one, students stepped inside a retrofitted SUV and strapped on a headset that impairs drivers vision and causes delayed reactions. 

The nationwide program is said to be the first and only marijuana driving simulator in the country. The goal - to help overly confident teens understand that driving while distracted or under the influence can be deadly.  

According to statistics, one out of eight high school seniors admitted to driving while under the influence of marijuana and one third of teens actually believe they do so better 

“As we medicalize and recreationalize states, it becomes a bigger issue on the roads as more people start to engage with it and drive,” said ‘Mallory McKenzie with the Arrive Alive Tour. “Most people don't understand they can't drive under the influence.”

Marge Lee an anti DWI and DUI advocate says drugged driving has surpassed drunk driving when it comes to deadly crashes. 

“Most people get driving drunk but there have been studies done where the average person thinks they can smoke a joint and drive where it's not as dangerous,” Lee said. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration marijuana users were about 25-percent more likely to be involved in a crash.