Ford's 'Drugged Driving Suit' aims to discourage teens from driving while on drugs

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A specially designed suit that mimics the effects of various drugs is part of a new effort to discourage teens from driving under the influence. (KABC)

A specially designed suit that mimics the effects of various drugs is part of a new effort to discourage teens from driving under the influence.

Ford's new "Drugged Driving Suit" is designed to simulate the effects of about four to five different drugs, said Jim Graham, with Ford's Driving Skills for Life program, including marijuana, cocaine and heroin.

The unique suit is the latest weapon in the automaker's Driving Skills for Life program, which teaches teens the real life dangers of driving impaired.

"They kind of laugh at first but it's a serious issue and I think they realize that, and hopefully we can get to them before they drink alcohol or use drugs," Graham said. "It's a fun exercise for them but it's a serious one."

The suit consists of vision-impairing glasses, headphones to distort sound, a hand tremor generator, weights and braces.

Eyewitness News reporter Leanne Suter put the suit on and went through the course. Barely able to see and with hands shaking, she knocked over several cones only going 5 mph.

Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in teens, and while there has been a lot of research on alcohol and driving, there is little on drugs and driving. This suit helps to drive home the dangers.

"This is a great tool to simulate it and there needs to be a lot more studies on drugs because the legalization of drugs, particularly marijuana, is probably going to spread across the United States," Graham said.

Driving Skills for Life is slated to make 15 stops in the U.S. in 2016, hopefully saving hundreds of teen lives.
Related Topics:
newsDUIdrugsteendrivingsafetyroad safetyford
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