PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Turn the phone off for an hour out of the day, it won’t kill you, but that message you’re trying to send might.

Drivers hear the warnings and the consequences over and over.

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Today, teens at Upper St. Clair High School were right in the middle of dangerous situations on the road, but in a safe environment — all thanks to the arrive alive tour and this car.

It’s a high-tech simulator, where drivers use the gas and brake pedals, along with a 3-D head set.

“We put them through either a drunk driving course, which creates a delay on the controls, so just like how a drunk person would be slow to respond, the car is slow,” said Storn Olson with Arrive Alive Tour. “Or we have them on a straight track without any sort of alcohol impairments and we just have them have a real working cell phone in their hand and ask them to type out a couple of messages.”

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All of the drivers struggled to keep control of the vehicle.

“They start going very slow, swerve out of their lanes, sometimes they get in a head on collision, but unfortunately that happens every day here in the country.” Olson said.

The simulator has been tested out by students all across the country not just in Upper St. Clair. The car has been in 49 different states.

“Overwhelmingly positive reaction,” Olson said. “It’s always a challenge working with the high school kids to see if they are taking it seriously and what not, but I’ve always been surprised how seriously they do it.”

The Allegheny County Bar Association brought the Arrive Alive Tour to Upper St. Clair in hopes of reducing the high number of fatal crashes among teens.

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“They’re going to experience it today and it’s going to be an eye-opening experience,” said Julie Brennan with the Allegheny County Bar Association.


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