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Virtual reality driving simulator shows dangers of distracted driving

The Arrive Alive Tour is giving people a first-hand look at the dangers of distracted driving.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - More than 40,000 people were killed in car accidents in 2017. Distracted driving was a major contributor to the figure.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. This united effort is to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving and reduce preventable deaths.

The Arrive Alive Tour is doing its part by traveling the East Coast with a virtual reality simulator that gives people a first-hand look at the dangers of distracted driving.

Virtual reality goggles and Bluetooth sensors turn a driver’s seat into a controller for a virtual word. A safety ambassador can then add distractions to the game to simulate drunk driving, or texting and driving.

Safety Ambassador spokesperson Max Vandewater said while the simulator covers a serious topic, it is fun.

"We’re having fun out here, we’re laughing and smiling,” Vandewater said.

However, once they step out of the simulator, reality sets in.

“We hand you a citation saying DUIs are running $12,000-$25,000 right now, and texting and driving is the number one killer of people your age," Vandewater said. "It kind of has this aha moment, after you’ve been smiling for a while that says, shoot I think I learned something today.”

The Arrive Alive Tour is traveling the East Coast making stops at different businesses and schools. Power Design Inc., in St. Petersburg, gave its employees the chance to try to simulator on April 2.

Visit www.arrivealivetour.com to find out how to get them to make a stop at your school of business.

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