Nearly 13,000 people are killed each year in alcohol-related accidents.
That’s according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.
“You are six times more likely to get in a crash texting and driving than you are drinking and driving. And we all know how dangerous drinking and driving is,” said Tyler Herbstrieth, a team leader for the Arrive Alive Tour.
How many times have you picked up the phone while driving, even just to check?
Herbstrieth said, “We’ve grown up around the technology where it’s always at our finger tips, but sometimes you have to put it back in your pocket and wait until you get to your destination.”
That’s the lesson the Arrive Alive Tour is trying to send.
The crew stopped at UMaine Machias on Thursday to show students just how dangerous impaired driving can be.
Drivers took a seat behind the wheel, puts on goggles and stepped into a virtual world.
“You don’t realize when you’re at the bar with friends or whatever and you decide to drive, you think you’re ok but this really shows how hard it is to drive,” said Danielle Wormell, a senior at UMaine Machias who gave the simulator a try.
Drivers are asked to take out their phones during the simulation and their smooth ride doesn’t last long.
“It just takes a second of not paying attention and you can really hurt someone,” said Wormell.
The drinking and driving portion slows down reaction time and blurs vision.
Chris Bennett, member of the road crew for the tour said, “They go about .2 miles when they’re drinking. They don’t make it very far.”
Here in Maine, the Bureau of Highway Safety says your first OUI can cost you $7,000, assuming there wasn’t an accident.
When drivers get out of the car they all receive a keychain with their picture of them driving in the simulator on the back.
The idea is to remind people when they pick up the keys, to drive safe.