NMDOT unveils new, cutting edge virtual reality experience that takes users deep inside a DWI crash. Courtesy/NMDOT
SANTA FE – Today, the New Mexico Department of Transportation announced a new, cutting edge virtual reality experience that takes users deep inside a DWI crash. This experience is the latest in the Department’s effort to ENDWI in New Mexico.
“We are hopeful that this will be successful in deterring New Mexicans from drunk driving,” said NMDOT Secretary Tom Church. “Our Department is committed to educating drivers of the dangers of DWI. Every year, it takes far too many lives on our roads and highways.”
During the virtual reality experience, users will see and hear the details from the perspective of three protagonists: a driver who makes the wrong decision to drive after consuming alcohol, a state police officer who responds to the call, and the innocent victim of the drunk driver. The experience will show the horrible results of drunk driving in a fully immersive environment.
The NMDOT has been on the cutting edge in using technology to educate the public about the dangers of drinking and driving, and this is the next step in engaging a tech-savvy demographic with an innovative creative approach.
New Mexicans can learn more about the virtual reality experience by visiting http://www.endwi.com/vr.
According to becrashfree.com, virtual reality can help to cultivate empathy and lead to better decision making – generating retention rates as high as 90 percent. Traditional methods such as classroom discussion, presentations and video only give retention rates in the 30 to 50 percent range.
“We’re always looking for new and innovative ways to keep drunk drivers off our streets,” NMDOT Traffic Safety Director Franklin Garcia said. “This is another way we’re fighting drunk driving in our state – it’s ruining lives on the road every day.”
So far this year, there have been 57 DWI-related fatalities compared to 94 at this time last year – nearly a 40 percent decrease. In 2017, there were 147 DWI-related fatalities.
Gov. Susana Martinez has made fighting DWI a priority in her administration. In 2016, the Governor enacted legislation that increased penalties against drunk drivers to some of the toughest in the region. The administration has also launched a campaign aimed to stop servers and establishments from over-serving alcohol.
In addition to the crackdown on DWI offender absconders, Gov. Martinez also announced a court monitoring program that placed citizens inside courtrooms in six counties to shed light on how DWI cases are handled.