Teens know all about the dangers of drinking and driving or driving under the influence of drugs. They hear about the risks from their parents, they attend seminars about it at school, and if they missed both of those memos, they definitely hear about it on social media and other websites via public service announcements (PSAs) and social media ad campaigns.
But it’s not enough to tell a teen about the dangers of drinking and driving; you need to show them, and that’s why Manitoba Public Insurance has turned to virtual reality technology to fight against underage drinking and driving.
MPI has recently launched a tool that gives a teen a birds eye view of what it’s like to drink and drive. The tool, DRIVR-X, is an app that pairs with a virtual reality headset and lets the teen driver experience what it’s like to drive impaired, distracted, or when the vehicle is speeding.
Not only does it let them experience what it’s like to drive impaired, it also shows them what the consequences are when you do. The simulation starts outside a vehicle parked at a party, and you can choose your path through the party and explore different simulations including one that showcases the dangers of drinking and driving. Once you’ve made your virtual decisions you’ll experience the virtual consequences, and that could include a funeral, visit to the hospital, or your arrest.
High school students in Manitoba have been invited to try the new tech at school, and they can even use the app at home by pairing their smartphones with a cardboard virtual technology viewer.
It’s all part of the plan to fight teen drunk driving in Manitoba, and this very real experience could be exactly what the province needs to make this new generation of potential teen drunk drivers think twice before they experience the real deal.