Ford makes suit to simulate drugged driving

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The suit uses strategically-placed weights and heavy padding reduce mobility in the arms and legs, while goggles and headphones reduce awareness(Credit: Ford)

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Ford has created a suit of clothing that mimics the effects of driving while under the influence of drugs. The suit, dubbed the Drugged Driving Suit, is part of the Ford Driving Skills for Life program for young drivers. The goal is to use the suit, along with its Drunk Driving Suit sibling, to educate kids in a hands-on way about the effects of driving under the influence, even when they might "feel fine."

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 18 percent of motor vehicle driver deaths involve drugs other than alcohol. The NHTSA also surveyed drivers and found that 22 percent tested positive for illegal, prescription, or over-the-counter drugs that could impair driving. The 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that nearly 10 million people reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs.

The Drugged Driving Suit works in a way similar to the Drunk Driving Suit Ford introduced last year. It uses strategically-placed weights and heavy padding reduce mobility in the arms and legs, while goggles and headphones reduce awareness. These result in changes to the driver's coordination, which all together means slower reaction and a more difficult time controlling the vehicle.

The Drugged suit also includes a kinetic device in its gloves that produces a tremor similar to what some illicit drugs can cause, while random flashing lights in the peripheral of the goggles and hallucinogenic-type sounds are generated by the headphones. To simulate LSD use, the goggles can also distort perception and add colorful auras to visuals.

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