Simulators show La Fargeville students dangers of distracted, impaired driving

LA FARGEVILLE, N.Y. (WWTI) — On average, it takes just over 4 seconds to send a text message. However, a car crash can happen in 3 seconds.

These are messages taught through the National Save a Life Tour, which visited the La Fargeville Central School District on May 9.

The program warns teens of the dangers of distracted and impaired driving through computer simulations. Students had the opportunity to “drive cars” while they received continuous texts, or had to “maneuver” a vehicle that had delayed steering, brakes and a gas pedal.

Although the simulations looked similar to a video game, Save a Life Presenter Christopher Rich said the program aims to encourage safe driving habits.

“The Save a Life Tour is a safe driving program designed to help deter people from the distractions of driving a car,” Rich explained.

Messages La Fargeville administration hopes to spread as their older students often drive a lot due to the North Country’s rural geography.

“We cover a lot of territory. The school district’s up here are large,” La Fargeville Principal Daniel Hammond said. “So all those miles add up to lots of opportunity for things to go wrong, for things to add up to bad outcomes. We want to try and stay ahead of that.

Especially as prom and graduation season is right around the corner and concerns of intoxicated driving increase, Hammond added.

“With all the traditional activities that go with proms and graduations, it’s a great opportunity to get out in front of that,” he said. “Educate kids around responsible behavior and some of the poor consequences that might come from poor decision making.”

But following the presentation from Save a Life, many La Fargeville high schoolers already plan on making changes and avoiding distracted and drunk driving.

“If there’s someone in the care, I would like to be more cautious than I would even if it was just me,” Allison Minnick said.

“It kind of instills a sense of fear, just from that. It makes me never want to do it,” Natalie Waterman shared.

“It does make me feel more aware and what I should be doing,” Emily Jones added.

So remember, drive safe. It could save a life. For more information, visit the National Save a Life Tour Website.

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