For those of us who grew up in the 80s and 90s, imagine flashing back to grade school and high school, when the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse and Resistance Education) program reached out to local schools in the district to educate children about the effects of drugs and alcohol. Local law enforcement came into the classrooms and shared details with the class about the drug-induced arrests that they came across and showed us experiments like the glass lung that showed the amount of tar that results from smoking a single cigarette, or the favorite, the beer goggles.
The beer goggles were created to mimic the effects of alcohol on a person, including but not limited to blurred vision, limited peripheral vision, and impaired reflexes. As children we enjoyed watching our volunteer peers struggle to overcome the impairments that came with the goggles in order to correctly and “soberly” follow the officer’s directions of the various field sobriety tests.
Fast forward to today—Ford developed impaired driving suits to simulate the effects of being under the influence by restricting movement, impairing vision and throwing off your balance. The suit is equipped with ankle weights to throw off your balance, bandages on the knee, elbow, and neck to restrict movement, tunnel vision glasses, and earmuffs to delay reaction time. While the D.A.R.E. program in schools didn’t have the results that legislation was aiming for, Ford continues to reach out with its Ford Driving Skills for Life tour.
According to Ford’s website, “The premise behind Ford Driving Skills for Life is to provide a step in the learning process that teaches skills beyond what most new drivers learn in basic driver’s education courses. The program’s curriculum focuses on vehicle handling, hazard recognition, and speed and space management, which account for 60 percent of all crashes.” This year the program will make various stops in states such as Alabama, Arizona, California, and more, hoping to teach young drivers the dangers of driving under the influence of a variety of drugs, both legal and illegal.