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Students see effects of drinking


Russellville High School driver’s education students have been using Fatal Vision Simulation goggles to get a true picture of what driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs would be like. | Nathan Strickland/FCT


Statistics show that one in five drivers arrested for drinking and driving were involved in a crash.

These statistics, along with others, have pushed health and driver education instructors to come up with the best way to give students that “under the influence” experience to show just how much their judgment is affected.

Russellville heath/driver’s education instructor David Ward brought out pairs of Fatal Vision Simulation goggles for students Wednesday as they hopped on a 4×4 Kubota four-wheeler to get the hands-on experience.

“We have goggles that give the vision from one drink all the way up until absolute fatal vision,” he said.

“There are some that simulate both night and day intoxicated vision. The goggles are used to show the students how bad their judgment of distance and reaction time is off when a person has too much to drink.”

Ward said simulations like these help the students to be smart before they get into a situation they can’t control like riding with a friend who has had too much to drink.

He said this would pretty much give the exact same vision as a person who has had one too many alcoholic beverages or any at all.

“This gives the students a chance to store an experience in their visual memory that could save them from themselves,” he said. “And the next time they get into a situation involving alcohol they will remember how devastating drinking and driving can be.”

Studies show that no one can defy the neurological fact that drinking impairs reflexes.

Students try to follow the rules of driving while wearing simulation goggles. | Nathan Strickland/FCT


Statistics show 6,226 young people die in motor vehicle wrecks every year and 2,343 of those are usually alcohol related.

Ward said the point of the exercise is to show the students how out of control people who get behind the wheel while intoxicated can be.

“These goggles are no joke, they are really hard to see through even while walking. They really affect your peripheral views and distance judgments,” he said, as he tried to walk with a pair on.

“Alcohol can really mess up a person’s vision and I imagine each intoxicated person’s vision is really close to the vision seen through these goggles. I want my students learn the effects now, instead of wind up being sorry later.”