Community SafetyDefensive Driving

Educating Tomorrow's Drivers with Anderson and Oconee Behavioral Health Services

A new initiative in the Upstate developed a collaborative effort between SCNSC, Anderson and Oconee Behavioral Health Services, and the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office. With the support of a generous grant secured by Anderson and Oconee Behavioral Health Services, the Distracted Driving Simulator program aims to instill a sense of responsibility and awareness among young drivers.

The program was structured around four engaging and educational activities, each designed to offer students a realistic perspective on the dangers of distracted and impaired driving.

A Virtual Reality Experience
The highlight of the program was the Distracted Driving Simulator, a state-of-the-art virtual reality program. This immersive experience allowed students to understand firsthand how distractions like texting, loud music, or even conversations can significantly impair their driving abilities. The virtual reality environment created realistic scenarios, showing the potential consequences of distracted driving in a safe yet impactful way.

Mock Traffic Stops
In collaboration with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, mock traffic stops were conducted to educate students on the correct way to interact with law enforcement if they are pulled over. This activity aimed to educate students on standard police procedures and foster a respectful relationship between young drivers and law enforcement officers.

Golf Cart Cone Course & Standard Field Sobriety Tests
Not an average golf cart ride, students took the wheel while wearing Fatal Vision goggles that simulate alcohol impairment. Additionally, students "walked the line" during standard field sobriety tests, conducted with the assistance of local officers. Participants attempted to complete various tasks commonly used in sobriety testing, like walking in a straight line or standing on one leg, all while experiencing simulated impairment from Fatal Vision goggles. These hands-on experiences demonstrated how alcohol can drastically reduce a driver's ability to judge distance and react to hazards.

The response from students and teachers alike was overwhelmingly positive! The interactive and practical nature of the activities helped teens understand that driving requires full attention and should never be done under the influence of distractions or impairments. By continuing these efforts, we hope to significantly reduce the number of accidents and fatalities caused by distracted and impaired driving.

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