In America somebody dies every 15 minutes due to distracted driving. On April 15, 2019, a mock car crash took place at Western High School; this mock car crash was a part of the “Every 15 Minutes Program” and was put together to teach an important lesson. This two-day program mainly focuses on high school juniors and seniors and teaches students responsibility when it comes to driving. The event was held to bring attention to the dangerous consequences that come with distracted driving. Emergency crews worked along the students to make the car accident appear as realistic as possible. The intent of this experience was to show students that car accidents don’t affect just the victims; they affect everyone connected to the victims or the crash.
A few of the students involved in the demonstration were removed from a wrecked vehicle or loaded onto a stretcher. Some students were even loaded into an ambulance to give the full effect. The mock car crash wasn’t the only part of the program; students were taken out in fifteen minute intervals to write their own obituaries. After these were written, they were displayed for every other student to see. This strategy was meant to open the eyes of every student and show just how dangerous distracted driving can be. Some people think “distracted driving” means the driver was intoxicated, but another main distraction evident in many situations today is a cell phone. A phone is one of the most distracting items and can be the cause of numerous car accidents. Students learned the importance of putting a phone away when driving because decisions made behind the wheel affect everyone around the driver.
In a Kokomo Tribune article, student Brooke Fortune stated that one of the lessons she took from this experience was that “it’s not worth whatever you’re deciding to do in that moment other than pay attention to the road.”
This program delivers a very important message to everyone. I think I can speak for everyone in my community when I say that car accidents have had a drastic impact on members of this community. Accidents that could have been prevented have taken the lives of multiple people, and these accidents have left a lasting effect on the friends and families of these victims. I believe this program would be a great experience for not only every student but also every driver. Something needs to be done with the distracted driving that affects everyone on the road.
Lewis Cass has hosted programs to prevent distracted driving in the past. Mr. Bates is currently working with Mrs. Birnell, the SADD sponsor, to set up something like this for next school year. Hopefully the program next year will be impactful among the students.