Ford’s Drug Driving Suit Makes Its Wearer Feel as If They're on Ecstasy

Ford Drug Driving Suit 10 photos
Photo: Ford Motor Company
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No less than 8.8 million 15 to 24-year-olds used cannabis and 2.3 million in the same age group took cocaine last year in Europe. And that’s just one of the several estimates which prove that educating young people not to drive under the influence of drugs is impetuous. Moreover, considering that illegal drug use may be a factor in as many as 200 deaths every year in the UK only, education can also save lives.
Ford has been using an effective way to show young drivers and car passengers alike what being under the influence of drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, heroin, and MDMA (Ecstasy) actually feels like. Called Drug Driving Suit, it’s designed to simulate effects that can include slowed reaction, distorted vision, and hand tremors. It may seem like a joke, but we experienced a similar gadget before and we can assure you they do work.

Ford has been using such gear for a while now in its award-winning Driving Skills for Life training. The program has provided free training to more than half a million people globally over the past 11 years. This new suit was developed in partnership with scientists from the Meyer-Hentschel Institute in Germany to simulate some of the effects of drugs or alcohol.

Young drivers will have the opportunity to experience the outfit, and also receive hands-on training covering skills including hazard recognition, vehicle handling, and distraction awareness.

“Driving after taking illegal drugs can have potentially fatal consequences for the driver, their passengers, and other road users,” said Ford Driving Skills for Life Manager Jim Graham. “We have already seen how the Drink Driving Suit has a dramatic effect on those who wear it behind the wheel, and are confident that the Drug Driving Suit will have a similar impact.”

Gundolf Meyer-Hentschel, the CEO of the Meyer-Hentschel Institute, reiterated how the special suit can recreate a similar feel to being under the influence of certain drugs. Those funky goggles distort perception via some flashing lights in the user's peripheral field, while the headphones generate random sounds to completely change a person's feelings about their surroundings. All of these combined make the users feel like they're on Ecstasy or LSD.

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