Middle School Students Experience ‘Survive Your Drive’

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GUNTOWN, MISS. (WCBI) – Students at a Northeast Mississippi middle school experienced the dangers of distracted and impaired driving, as part of a program through the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

Like many of her friends, Guntown Middle School student Kelsey Fisk didn’t have much trouble operating the pedal car when her vision wasn’t impaired.  But when the “Fatal Vision” goggles were used, it was a different story.

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“If it was a cone in front of you, it would be to the left or right, it was like three cones, but actually one,” Fisk said.

MDOT brought its “Survive Your Drive Yall” to the school.  Safety educators let students experience the seat belt convincer, which represents the impact of a crash at 5 miles an hour. There was also a virtual driver simulator showing the dangers of texting while driving.

“We want to keep our highways safe, and so if we can educate the young students, hopefully they can help educate some of the older people, parents and grandparents, and they themselves will not text and drive and keep our roads safe,”said Connie Gusmus, GMS teacher.

These middle schoolers don’t have their drivers licenses yet, but they are already making some important choices and that’s the whole point of Survive Your Drive.

“At this point, most seventh graders are going through a phase of trying to fit in and being part of a social class, so it’s important they make good decisions so consequences don’t affect them in the long term,” said Miketra Richardson, who is with Life Core Health Group.  She was letting youngsters try and walk a straight line, holding a kickball, wearing blurred vision goggles that simulate drug and alcohol use.   Seventh grader Luke Wood says he got the message.

“I felt like I was perfect with my motion and everything, felt my form was awesome, but they said I was about 10 foot off the line,” Wood said.

MDOT brings its interactive program to the middle school each year.

More than 200 students experienced “Survive Your Drive.”

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