Left to right: State Farm Insurance marketing associate Mariah Taylor, State Farm Insurance agent Melissa Snively, Newsome High School Principal Katie Rocha, school board member Patti Rendon, and Newsome assistant principal Grant Radebaugh.

According to the 2023 Florida Teen Driver Fact Sheet, the highest rates of fatalities involving a teen driver occur in October, March, November and May. These months align with major high school activities like prom and holiday breaks.

Newsome High School emphasized to students the importance of driver safety by bringing the Arrive Alive Tour to school on April 8 and 9.

The Arrive Alive Tour is a national program that educates drivers on the dangers and consequences of impaired and distracted driving with the aim to create lifelong safe driving habits.

Newsome students who opted to participate in the program used a state-of-the-art simulator to experience the real-life dangers without the real-life consequences.

Students chose between three options: alcohol, marijuana or distraction. With a virtual reality headset on, students got into an immobilized vehicle. The vehicle was on rotating pads, which allowed students to turn the steering wheel and employ realistic operation of the vehicle. Sensors connected to the vehicle’s gas, brake pedals and steering wheel enabled a drugged or distracted driving experience. Upon exiting the vehicle, students were handed a mock citation detailing the ramifications of their simulation, as explained by a facilitator.

Newsome Principal Katie Rocha was grateful for the community’s support to bring the event to the school.

“The Arrive Alive event was an outstanding success, providing Newsome High School students with crucial awareness about the dangers of impaired driving. Thank you to Melissa Snively State Farm and generous sponsors. The simulated driving course effectively illustrated the severe consequences of driving under the influence,” Rocha said.

Melissa Snively State Farm was the presenting title sponsor for the event.

“We were pleased to be able to bring this program to Newsome High School. By immersing themselves in the simulation, students gained a deeper understanding of the importance of staying focused and attentive behind the wheel, especially during celebratory events like prom,” Snively said.

The Arrive Alive Tour at Newsome was made possible by these community sponsors:

Melissa Snively State Farm, The George Shea Team (title), FishHawk Oral Surgery (title), Cardinal Roofing, White Oak Cottage, West Bay Roofing, Music Showcase, Edge Pools, Gatorz Auto Glass, Angel Foundation FL, PF Auto Glass, Anytime Fitness Lithia, Cruise Planners and CayFusion.

To learn more about the Arrive Alive Tour, visit https://arrivealivetour.com/.

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