FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2013
Contact: Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations
201-291-1111, ext. 1-5122
BERKELEY COLLEGE STUDENTS LEARN ABOUT DANGERS OF IMPAIRED DRIVING
THROUGH VIRTUAL REALITY SIMULATOR
Berkeley College students recently had an opportunity to experience firsthand the dangers of impaired driving inside a car that simulates the effects of drinking or texting while driving. The program was hosted by the Office of Student Development and Campus Life and was presented by PEER Awareness, a company that provides entertainment focused on health and wellness.
The Aware-TXT virtual reality car put students in the driver’s seat of a stationary Ford Focus that simulated a delayed response time related to alcohol. Other students were asked to text a message while trying to stay on the road. The simulation ended when the students dramatically collided with various virtual obstacles including trees, other cars and pedestrians.
According to PEER Awareness, 37 percent of collisions in 2008 were directly caused by distracted driving. Texting while driving endangers drivers up to eight times more than alcohol. Following the simulator, students had an opportunity to take a pledge not to text and drive.
“Texting while driving is rapidly becoming one of the main causes of auto accidents in New Jersey and nationwide,” said Kevin Frey, Berkeley College Director, Student Development and Campus Life, Woodbridge. “During the simulation, the students were amazed to see what could happen. Hopefully, this event will help our students make positive choices while driving.”
Gary Krulish, Berkeley College faculty member, School of Professional Studies, took students from his Introduction to Justice Studies class to the simulator. Though he said he hopes no student ever experiences a tragedy like the ones simulated, he hoped the experience would serve as a teaching tool.
“As an introductory course, we want them to experience different aspects of criminal justice, from policing to law enforcement to criminal liability,” Mr. Krulish said.
Berkeley College student Erick Munoz of Elizabeth said the program was especially beneficial to incoming students.
“Some students who are new to college may be tempted to drink and drive, but this teaches them what could happen,” he said.
A leader in providing career-focused education for more than 80 years, Berkeley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls approximately 8,000 students — including more than 900 international students — in its Baccalaureate and Associate degree and Certificate programs. The College has six New Jersey locations — Woodland Park, Paramus, Woodbridge, Newark, Clifton and Dover. In New York there are three locations — Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and White Plains. Berkeley College Online also offers full degree programs. Programs are offered in more than 20 career fields. The website address is www.BerkeleyCollege.edu.
Photo Caption A: Berkeley College student Nicole Duffy of North Brunswick gets in the driver’s seat of the Aware-TXT virtual reality car, which simulates a delayed response time related to alcohol.
Photo Caption B: Berkeley College student Aliyah Storey of Perth Amboy tries to stay on the road while texting in the Aware-TXT virtual reality simulator.
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