Tag Archive for: virtual reality video

VR Video Shows What It’s Like From Driver’s Point of View to Get Swept Away in Flash Flood

Most people who die in floods die in their cars … after they drive into water. But how do you communicate the danger to people? It’s one thing to say, “Turn around; don’t drown.” It’s another altogether to get them to feel the risk and act on it. But this VR video (virtual reality) does an excellent job. The Clark County (Las Vegas, NV) Regional Flood Control District produced it. And it won first place in last year’s National Association of Flood and Stormwater Management Agencies (NAFSMA) Communication Awards.

Still frame from award-winning video. To see video, click here or on image.

Water Always Wins

They named their campaign “Water Always Wins” and produced a scary, virtual-reality video showing a car of teenagers returning from a day trip in the desert. As they get off the freeway near home, they approach a flooded intersection and decide to try to make it across. Their car becomes buoyant and loses traction. It floats down the road into deeper water. The floodwater starts to fill the interior of the vehicle. It loses power. The teens can’t get the windows down. Water pressure on the doors keeps them locked in the rising water. And pretty soon, the occupants run out of breathing space. (Spoiler alert: There is a rescue at the end.)

Made for the Desert, but Applies to Houston

The video realistically illustrates a worst case scenario (minus the rescue, of course). If you have a teenager learning to drive, this is highly recommended viewing. The video was produced for a desert audience, but the location could easily be Houston. I had a similar near-death experience on Little York when a bayou rose up over the road. I narrowly escaped. I must say that what I experienced bears a striking resemblance to what you will see in this video. And the water wasn’t even moving as fast as the water in this video.

Confronts Mortality Head On

Such videos have one problem though. They sometimes become so hard to watch, the audience rebels. Teenagers, especially, may try to make fun of it, because it confronts them with their own mortality. And most teenagers have an unshakeable belief in their own immortality. This video has received more than 5 million views. It also received thousands of snarky comments from teens.

Still, if I had teenagers in the house, I would make them watch it. Next time they come up to a flooded intersection, they may remember the video and forget their snarky comments.

To view the video, follow this link. The VR experience starts after a brief animated intro.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 2/22/2021

1273 Days since Hurricane Harvey