‘Arrive Alive’ comes to the school


Anna Minton


School administrators are looking to educate students about distracted driving on  Sept. 18, with the arrival of the “Arrive Alive” education program. This program is an in-car simulation of texting while driving or drunken driving and aims to demonstrate to young drivers the disastrous effects of distracted driving.

“The simulator has two large screens mimicking the impact of distracted driving,” says Amy Petryk, clinic nurse at Granville Intermediate School and the main sponsor of the program.  “If you’re not in the simulator, then you can at least be right next to it and see what the person is seeing when they are in the car.” Petryk, is also a parent of two Granville High School students.

According to DISTRACTION.GOV, the official US government website for distracted driving, in 2013 3,154 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers and approximately 424,000 people were injured due to accidents with a distracted driver a nearly 5% increase over 2012.

Petryk is determined to educate kids about the dangers of distracted driving, and thinks that the Arrive Alive simulator is the way to do so. “If we show the kids in a safe way what it’s like if you are texting while driving, and how that impacts your ability to drive a car, then we can cut down on the number of accidents” says Petryk.  She believes that this simulator is the best possible way to have her message resonate with students.

“Kids really need to sit behind the wheel of a car and experience what it’s like to see what happens when you are texting, and you take your eyes off the road… It’s more impactful because it provides more opportunities for the kids to see what happens.”

As to who she is targeting, Petryk has a specific age group in mind. “It’s going to mainly focus on the sophomore class, because those are the people who are just now beginning to get their licenses, and to develop good driving habits.” However, Petryk feels that this issue affects all grade levels. Students will be pulled out of study hall to try out the simulator. The students who aren’t trying the in-car experience will be able to watch an education film in the theater. The last two periods of the day, Petryk says the simulator will be open to all grade levels.

School educators are not the only ones who feel strongly about this issue. Petryk was able to gain corporate sponsors for this event, to help cover the cost. These sponsors include Licking Memorial Hospital, the Granville Rotary Club, Medical and Surgical Associates, and American Health Network- Pediatric Physicians of Newark.

“They want to help get word out to the community as well,” says Petryk. “They see the kids who are in the car accidents from distracted driving in their practices. They feel very strongly that they want to support preventive actions to help kids make better decisions.”