Carolina Forest students learn dangers of drunk driving through new simulation

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Students at Carolina Forest High School will now think twice before drinking and driving or picking up their phone while behind the wheel after participating in a new interactive, drunk driving simulation.

The UNITE Arrive Alive Tour stopped at Carolina Forest’s campus on Friday and brought the simulation program. It was on campus for the whole school day and groups of students stopped by at different times for a whole class period.  Each of them got inside of a car, and chose to simulate drunk driving or texting and driving. “It helps them to realize that a quick text here or there, or drinking and driving, while it might not seem so dangerous in the moment, it can lead to a lot of other issues,” said school counselor Erika Tobrocke.

Once inside the car, students wore special googles that allowed program members to control their driving conditions and impair their vision. Anna Hong participated in the drunk driving simulation. “Everything was blurry, I couldn’t see the speedometer, and every time I moved, I felt like I was moving way too much and it was hard to stay still. When I was hitting the gas I was going way too fast.” Hong said the simulation was a much-needed lesson since many of her peers do text and drive. “So many of us do do it, even unconsciously. We don’t even think about it.”

Austin Moore is a junior at Carolina Forest and plans to take his driving test soon. He tried the texting and driving simulation. “It was very stressful because I had to make sure I got through lights, stayed in the right lane, didn’t hit anybody, while making sure the messages I was sending were correct.” he told me he’s not the only one who can benefit from what he learned today. “My mom’s pretty busy trying to talk to people all the time. Usually whenever I’m riding with her, she’s on the phone. Just tell her, don’t do anything unless the car is stopped.”

School counselor Erika Tobrocke helped bring the Arrive Alive Tour simulation to the high school She said just telling students about the dangers of drinking and driving isn’t enough. “It’s important for these kids to be able to experience it in a safe environment, where they’re not actually in any real danger. This is something they can take away and use in the future.”

School counselors at Carolina Forest High School said they plan to bring the Arrive Alive simulation back to campus next. Eventually, they also hope to hold multiple simulations each school year.