Jackson-Milton Students Get Wakeup Before Prom
Since 2013, ODOT has hosted multiple events to include their “Texting and Driving Simulators.” With Prom right around the corner and the dangers of driving increasing during the Prom Season, ODOT put the Jackson-Milton junior and senior students to the test. The “texting and Driv- ing Simulator” features a computer generated simulation of texting while driving. The set up includes a steering wheel, turn signals, gas and brake pedals. After “buckling up” the students take the wheel and attempt to drive with distractions. Students receive a phone call, send text messages, all while listening to passenger conversations and attempting to drive. The students then experience the “Drunk Buster Goggles.” These are goggles that simulate a person being intoxicated by impairing their vision. Once the goggles are on, the students attempt to drive the simulator. It doesn’t take long before the driver makes an error and is involved in a crash that results in a simulated interaction with police, medical staff, and a judge. Tyler Phillips, Jackson- Milton High School senior states, “This simulator made me realize how hard it would be to drive with a .15 or a .2 bac. And texting while driving is not as easy as one may think, but I could not pay attention to the road and the phone at the same time. This simulator will definitely open up kids eyes.” Justin Rentz, also a senior at Jackson-Milton participated in the driving simulator. “I thought it was going to be easy, but I was wrong. I was going good at first but when I was trying to text, I failed. Then I put on the goggles, and driving was basically impossible. I wouldn’t ever want to be in a real life situation like that. It was frightening,” he said. ODOT wants drivers to understand that every time they talk or text behind the wheel they are making a choice that could have devastating and irreversible consequences.