‘Beer goggles’ stagger student drivers
April 25, 2013 1:08PM
Eisenhower High School driver education teacher Dan Mahoney had his students wear beer goggles to simulate the effects of alcohol. Operation Teen Safe Driving included a variety of activities to inspire wise decisions while driving. | Supplied photo
Updated: May 29, 2013 6:13AM
Wearing “beer goggles” while driving on a simulator, Eisenhower High School sophomore Yasmeen Cerrato could barely see.
Purchased with a grant from Allstate and part of the Blue Island high school’s annual “Operation Teen Safe Driving” campaign, the goggles mimic the effects of alcohol.
“I couldn’t see anything. You see things close when they’re far away. You get dizzy wearing them. Imagine when you’re really drunk,” said Cerrato, a student in teacher Dan Mahoney’s driver education classes.
“I couldn’t see, and I simply felt useless and vulnerable,” Ashley Cedeno said.
The safe driving program features a range of activities. Examples include students signing pledges promising to drive safely, TV production classes creating public service announcements promoting the themes of the week, digital photography classes designing fliers amplifying the messages of safe driving and an Allstate agent and an Illinois state trooper talking about safe driving habits.
Mahoney directed his students to try to perform other activities, such as texting, while they drove on the simulation program.
“It was so hard to concentrate. There were just too many different things going on at once,” Latiya Hill said.
“I don’t think you should drink and drive. But I think texting and driving is worse because you’re not focused on the road,” Endyia Ellis said.
Ellis is correct, according to Mahoney. Many studies have found texting while driving is riskier than driving under the influence of alcohol (as much as four times the impairment).
The idea they could hurt others seemed to affect students. Many mentioned the consequences, according to Mahoney.
“I don’t want to hurt an innocent person. I saw how bad I was driving on the simulators. I know that I don’t want to be a person like that on the road,” Saray Casillas said.
“Thousands die because drivers make ignorant decisions,” Cedeno said.