Alcohol and distracted driving awareness month, making sure youth ‘Arrives Alive’

DELMARVA – Alcohol Awareness Month brings attention to the causes and treatment of the nation’s number one public health problem, alcoholism. Which according to experts, is an even larger problem among youth. “Adults who are addicted to drugs, they started using in high school, middle school,” says Cynthia Shifler, ATOD Prevention Coordinator with the Wicomico County Health Department.

In light of Alcohol Awareness Month, it’s also Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which can be just as if not more dangerous according to experts. “It really is because your cognitive function depends on that so you can reorient yourself and make sure you’re aware of everything that’s happening around you,” says Sarah Cattie, Senior Traffic Safety Program Manager with Delaware Office and Highway Safety.

Whether driving under the influence or distracted, organizations like Arrive Alive Campaign are making sure know what to do when they get behind the wheel, they arrive alive.

Arrive Alive Campaign is visiting schools across Delmarva teaching students about the dangers of getting behind the wheel while impaired. Students strap on the headset and then choose to drive drunk, high, or distracted. Some even started as confident but quickly realized it’s easier said than done. “It’s very distracting as well as drunk driving, you get that tunnel vision so it gets very blurry and black and your reaction is delayed as well so it’s very hard to control,” says Kennedy Raisbeck, a Team Member with Arrive Alive.

One student even says it was a true hands-on learning experience he believes everyone needs. “It was terrible, I drove into a tree,” says sophomore at Pocomoke High School, Mauriek Palmer. He adds, “I’ll never drive drunk anywhere. It’s good, everybody needs that especially if you don’t drive yet so you already know.”

Team members also tell us, that they just want everyone safe no matter the age. “We just want them to understand the dangers of getting behind the wheel knowing that they’re moving at such high speeds involving other people, civilians on the road So we just like to make them think twice,” says Lead Team Member with Arrive Alive, Sara Pearce.

The Wicomico County Health Department also tells 47 ABC, that alcohol is more likely to kill young people than drugs combined.

For any resources for those battling addiction, click here.

For more information about Arrive Alive Tour, click here.