In order to allow students to experience the effects of distracted driving, a special van simulating real driving situations came to AHS. The van comes twice a year, once each semester, and is open to students enrolled in junior health classes.

Health teacher Mrs. Salvesen commented on the van and what it provides to the students of AHS. She said, “It offers driving simulations for distracted and drunk driving, with the purpose of building student’s awareness of these issues.”

Many schools use drunk driving simulators as part of their health class curriculums throughout the year. Auto insurance companies sponsor the creation of simulators and nonprofits and schools offer them to the community.

Students are often very eager to try the simulators, and as a result there is not enough time for every student to try them out. “There are 2 appointments for every half hour and there is always more interest than can be accommodated,” said Salvesen. “We don’t want students to miss other classes so we only do it during health class. We give priority to junior health classes because they are usually just becoming drivers. The van is popular at many schools, and we have to book it a year in advance.”

Salvesen expressed why she thinks the van is effective way of combatting bad driving habits and said, “It’s skill in action, and better than just taking. Students get to see what happens if they decide to make those choices. It’s the best way to get this real life experience without endangering anyone.”

By Nick Gilpin