FERNDALE (WWJ) — Seniors at Ferndale High School were put through an obstacle course today in the parking lot to teach the dangers of distracted driving.
Police from Ferndale and the Oakland County Sheriff office were in the passenger seat as the seniors drove a golf cart through an obstacle course while texting and wearing goggles that simulate drunk and drugged driving.
Students quickly learned how difficult and dangerous distracted driving really is. Ethan Simpson, 17, said it was extremely challenging.
“With the googles it was kind of (challenging), I ran over a few things, might have ran over a stuffed animal,” Simpson said. “Ran through one stoplight. It moved everything one direction, like to the left so my perception of everything went completely through the roof. It was crazy.”
The students were also put through a simulated crash at 5 mph to show the dangers of going without a seat belt.
Distracted driving takes thousands of lives every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The organization reported 3,477 deaths and 391,000 other injuries related to distracted driving in 2015.
Ferndale High School student Ronae Lynn also participated in Thursday’s simulation. She said she never uses her phone when she’s behind the wheel, but still thought the simulation was a good learning tool to prevent distracted driving. She had a simple message for those who part take in distracted driving.
“It’s going to mess you up,” Lynn said.