The Arrive Alive program was at Webster County High School Tuesday to show the dangers of driving under the influence. Students are learning about another danger, too: texting and driving, which school administrators said is also a big concern.
"We're not naïve to think that we don't have problems with students with drunk driving. However I think the texting and driving is probably more of an issue because they don't relate texting with something illegal, and so they're not as afraid to try to text and drive," said Assistant Principal Stacey Cutlip.
Some students tried their hand at a drunk driving simulator, while others drove sober and tried to text. The program's presenters said it's actually more dangerous; there are four texting accidents on the road for every one involving a drunk driver.
"A lot of the kids think that drinking and driving is more dangerous than texting and driving, and that's understandable, because from a young age we're taught that drinking and driving is bad and we shouldn't do that. But now we're just trying to spread the word that texting and driving is actually more dangerous, so if we can save a life, then we've done our job," said Arrive Alive's Tyler Herbstreith.
The students also watched a video about distracted driving. Cutlip said seeing the impact they could have on others made an impact on students, too.
"They could be crashing into somebody who has young children, and I think that was something that they experienced today where they saw on a video the teenagers driving and texting, but the crash impacted a family with two young children, and that really hit home with our kids," Cutlip said.
Students also received tickets after each attempt, detailing what offenses they caused while driving drunk or driving and texting. Emergency responders in the area will also hold a mock car accident before WCHS's prom.