Drunk driving ‘shock jocks’ visiting Altus

  • Published
  • By Kevin Chandler
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
The Save A Life Tour will make a stop at Altus Air Force Base Oct. 2 to make a presentation on drunk driving and give drivers a simulated blood alcohol "ride." The tour uses driving simulators and a "high-impact video" to forcibly relate the dangers associated with drinking and driving to the audience. The unique methods and realistic demonstrations have earned the tour leaders a reputation as the "shock jocks" of drunk driving prevention.

After looking at drunk driving statistics, it seems such drastic measures are just what is needed. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, 24 percent of young drivers who die in automobile crashes have a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher. The wing commander has made this presentation mandatory for all military members 26 years old and younger. According to Mike Matthews, 97th Air Mobility Wing ground safety manager, the remaining available slots can be filled by military dependents or interested military and civilian personnel. There will be two mass briefings held in the base gym, one at 8:00 a.m. and another at noon. After each briefing participants will be scheduled for time in the driving simulator.

While the 12-minute video shows actual accidents, emergency room scenes and family responses most participants feel the driving simulator has the greatest impact. Created by Kramer, Inc. and FAAC, Inc., two leading designers of entertainment and flight simulators, the driving simulation features the controls of a real car such as air conditioning, sound and a 225 degree field of vision through the use of multiple monitors. Participants drive through a virtual city while the computer adjusts the car's controls to demonstrate the effect increasing blood alcohol levels have on reaction times and vision. For more information on the presentation call the ground safety office at 481-7233.