'Arrive Alive Tour' stops at FMU, aims to stop distracted driving

Updated: Oct. 23, 2017 at 4:45 PM EDT
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(Source: Holly DeLoache)
(Source: Holly DeLoache)

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – Students at Francis Marion University got the opportunity to experience distracted driving first hand today, thanks to the Arrive Alive Tour.

According to their website, the tour's mission is to "heighten awareness to the dangers and consequences of drunk driving, distracted driving and texting while driving."

Every day, 28 people are killed in the United States from alcohol-related vehicle crashes, and 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.

The tour brings a high-tech car that simulates both drunk driving and texting while driving. FMU's police department was also there conducting field sobriety tests.

Patrol Sergeant Tracey Tolson says college-aged students need this kind of education the most.

"We have to get through to them. They're all college aged students, we know they like to have a good time, but we all want them to do it safely. We're encouraging everyone to come out here to participate, let us run you through a series of field sobriety tests and let us educate you a little bit," she said.

94% of teen drivers acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving, but 35% admitted to doing it anyway on a AAA poll.

Ayron Austin, Team Leader for the Arrive Alive Tour says while texting and drunk driving are the two main types of distracted driving, they aren't the only ways to be distracted. Even something as simple as changing the radio station or trying to calm a baby in the backseat.

"Next thing you know you're hitting somebody because you're paying attention to the radio or to the baby trying to calm them down and you end up hitting someone or something," he said.

With the internet constantly at our fingertips, putting the phone down isn't always easy. Austin says there are apps you can use that disable your phone if you're moving over 15 miles an hour.

The easiest thing to do? Put your phone in the backseat or glovebox if you feel you have to.

And of course, if you know you're going to be drinking, always use a designated driver or taxi service.

For more information on the Arrive Alive Tour, click here.

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