JCJC students simulate driving under the influence, texting

JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Several Jones County Junior College students were texting and driving on campus Wednesday morning. Many of them crashed, and even hit pedestrians. Some were driving under the influence,  but fortunately it was all fake.

"I did the drunk driving simulation," said JCJC freshman Maken McAlpin.

The simulation happens in a car designed to simulate real driving conditions. Students hop in, put on virtual reality goggles and pick one of two simulations - texting while driving or driving under the influence.

"We are trying to bring awareness to students about the dangers or texting and driving and drinking and driving," said Student Success Center Program Coordinator, Cynthia Bush.

Bush says the simulator is part of a tour organized by United International's Driving While Texting/Under the Influence, and its goal is awareness.

"I do think students need to be more aware of texting and driving, which is really new as far as dangers and hazards of driving," said Bush.

McAlpin experienced those hazards during the simulation driving without the real life consequences.

"When it put the haze on the screen it made it really hard to see people coming from the sides. So, like, if you had anything cross traffic or anything it made that very difficult to see," said McAlpin.

Freshman, Danyelle Gray chose texting and driving and it didn't end well.

"The reason I got out of the car is because I  hit a person that was crossing the road," said Gray.

Gray says hitting the fake pedestrian was a wake up call, because she texts while driving in real life.

"I could go to jail. I realized that I could go to jail, and I don't want to go. So, it opened my eyes a lot to the whole texting and driving. I am going to try to stop completely," said Gray.

Bush says she hopes the realization Gray had will hit all the students who participated .

"I know that there is a big increase in the fatality rate as far as texting versus how it had been before, and that they would really think before they respond to that message," said Bush.

Copyright 2012 WDAM. All rights reserved.