Using Driving Simulation Technology to Safely Demonstrate Impairment
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2021 about 37 people died every single day as a result of drunk driving – that’s over 13,500 human lives lost. That’s one person every 39 minutes.
Every day. In one year.
The number is staggering.
Although it’s true that the number of deaths has been declining over the past several decades, there are still far too many people who never make it home because someone decided to drink and drive. Thanks to terrific education campaigns from the NHTSA, the number of drunk drivers on the road has decreased over the years, but there are still far too many people who choose to get behind the wheel after drinking. We’ve all had that one friend who claims they can drive “just fine” after drinking too much. Or the friend who insists that they “aren’t that drunk” as they take out their keys.
At Systems Technology, Inc., (makers of STISIM Drive) we know the truth: they’re wrong, possibly dead wrong, if they think drinking doesn’t affect their driving ability.
“For over 65 years, we’ve had one clear driving force behind everything that we do, which is safety,” said Sanjeeve Weerasuriya, President & CEO of Systems Technology, Inc. “That’s true whether we’re working with space, air, ground or sea vehicles. It’s all about making human control of those vehicles safer for the individuals and their communities.”
One of the primary dangers with drinking and driving is that your mind still processes things fairly well – but there’s a major delay in getting that processed info to your hands and feet. Your brain might be aware enough to send a “slow down and steer” signal, but the message takes extra time to get to the appropriate limb. Slower signals = slower reaction times = accidents = death and/or pain and suffering.
Not only do time delays occur, but your vision is affected too. The more you drink, the more your field of vision is reduced, creating a tunnel effect. This is dangerous because it’s essentially cutting off your peripheral vision, which is super important when driving. Being able to pick up cues from the side of the road can mean the difference between getting into an accident – or not.
The Effects of Alcohol
Want to know what it’s like to drink and drive, but without the danger of being on the open road? We’ve got a module for that and you can learn about our full driving research application HERE. STISIM Drive has a long history of being used for alcohol research. In fact, our earliest origins are rooted in impaired driver studies. Our driving simulation technology offer a safe way to demonstrate the dangers of drunk driving. Our simulators have not only been part of research projects, they’ve also been featured in drinking segments on several talk shows, including The Leeza Show, The Gabrielle Show, Dr. Phil, and 30 Days with Morgan Spurlock, to name a few.
With our technology there are two ways people can experience drunk driving virtually. The first is by consuming alcohol in a controlled environment and then driving the simulator. The second option would be to use our DUI Module, which mimics the time delays and tunnel vision that occur at various Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) levels. Of course, it makes for better TV (and sounds more fun) for an of-age adult to get their drank on, then use the simulator. But when you don’t have a controlled environment, or are dealing with underage drivers, the DUI Module is a close second. The module may not lower the driver’s inhibitions or increase risk-taking behavior, but it does a good job of demonstrating time delays and reduced visibility.
Bottom Line, Don’t Drink and Drive
As we’ve said many times before, don’t drink and drive, even if you think you’re not that drunk. Why risk hurting yourself or someone else? Please always remember to drink responsibly – and call a ride-sharing company, a friend or family member to get you home!