Texas College Kids Learn About Drunk Driving Through Dodgeball

TxDOT Virtual Dodgeball to Prevent Drunk Driving

Organizations all over the U.S. are coming up with creative ways to teach about the dangers of drunk driving. For instance, educational simulators or ‘drunk goggles’ may leave a more lasting impression on young people, and encourage them to avoid drunk driving.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is adding to the conversation by using a virtual dodgeball game to teach college students about the dangers of drunk driving.

A few months ago, the organization visited the University of Texas in Austin because most alcohol-related crashes involve people between the ages of 18 to 35.

How Does the Virtual Dodgeball Game Work?

TxDOT set up a booth with a big screen in front of the player. The screen then tracks the player’s movement as they try to dodge the balls. The game gradually starts to slow down the player’s ability to react as they ‘raise’ the amount of alcohol.

After playing, one student in a news article said that, “if I can’t even dodge a football, I could not even operate a car or anything like that.”

The focus of the game was to leave students with the realization that alcohol can severely affect your driving skills. Students should also be pro-active and have a game plan before going to parties and events that involve alcohol, like appointing a designated driver or having a ridesharing app on their phones.

Texas Drunk Driving Statistics

In the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s recent drunk driving data, Texas was the state with the highest drunk driving-related deaths. And from TxDOT’s numbers, 28 percent of crashes in Texas in 2016 were alcohol-related. In Austin during Labor Day weekend in 2016, there were 34 alcohol-related crashes. Two of those resulted in a fatality and six with an injury.

With the TxDOT and other organizations educating younger people against drunk driving in more creative ways, we can see these numbers decrease. One tool that’s changing the numbers already is an Ignition Interlock Device.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reports that between 2015 and 2016, Ignition Interlocks stopped drivers 27,694 times with a BAC level of .08 or more. If these devices continue to be a requirement for DWI offenders, Texas will have safer roadways.

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