Advances in virtual reality (VR) are making the technology more accessible than ever. While full-blown VR systems are still prohibitively expensive for many, limited VR systems are now available on our smartphones. These systems are being used for everything from gaming to home design. However, a major alcohol company has just released a VR experience to simulate a drunk driving accident.
Diageo is one of the largest alcoholic beverage companies in the world. Based in the UK, they produce many of the world's top spirits, including Johnnie Walker, Captain Morgan, Bulleit Bourbon, and Tanqueray. Now Diageo has put out a VR experience called Decisions, which puts inside various vehicles before a deadly accident.
There are three vehicles within the Decisions VR experience, including a young couple on a date after recently having a baby, three young people are going to a friends party, and the third vehicle includes a woman leaving a bar after drinking.
The VR experience is just under 5 minutes long, starting with the young woman on a phone call being asked to come for a meeting at a bar. Moments later she is making a phone call to a friend, talking about drinking too much, and slurring her words. A minute later, all three vehicles are involved in a crash when the apparently intoxicated driver tries to pass a vehicle on a dark, two-lane road.
The experience continues after the accident, with the intoxicated driver getting out of an overturned vehicle, crying and telling the other drivers she is sorry. Some of the occupants of another vehicle are not moving as the video fades out. A police call sounds calling for support for a three car accident with multiple fatalities.
The video was created by VaynerMedia, a New York ad agency. “What you want is for the user to feel what the experience is like in that car,” said Jason Beauregard, director of the virtual PSA. “That sensation comes from the experience hitting your emotional receptors. It heightens your senses in a way you don't get with conventional film, and you really feel that with the twist in the end, when essentially you, as a viewer but also a character, die.”
While the technology may be new, educators have been using these ‘scared straight' tactics for decades. Some California drivers may remember being shown the gory driver's ed videos in high school, including the notorious Red Asphalt. In recent years, high school have been putting on staged drunk driving accidents, complete with wrecked vehicles as props, and using student actors with support from the police and fire departments.
Decisions is available on YouTube to watch using a VR headset, with your smartphone, or through your internet browser.
If you have been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, contact an experienced DUI attorney. At the Gorelick Law Offices, attorney Lynn Gorelick has dedicated her legal career to defending people in the East Bay. For over 30 years, she has personally handled hundreds of cases involving people arrested drunk for driving offenses. If you have been arrested here in the East Bay, there is still time to keep a conviction off your record. Contact a local East Bay DUI defense attorney who understands that you don't have to plead guilty just because you were arrested