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Crash simulations aim to prevent teen car accident fatalities

For many young people, it is difficult to see the consequences of their actions. Reckless driving, texting, cell phone use, adjusting music while driving and other distractions may seem harmless, but can result in deadly accidents, for which there are no second chances.

“Every 15 Minutes” is a national program, but was recently hosted by a New Jersey school high-school, giving students an up-close encounter with a deadly crash scene. The effort gives new drivers a new reality and perspective that can hopefully prevent future accidents.

Only the teenagers participating in the staged events knew exactly how the accident scene would unfold. Every 15 minutes a student was pulled out of class and given a black T-shirt and white face paint to indicate that they were dead.

When the students were lead outside to the crash scene, they saw a woman slumped over in a pool of blood, the state trooper trying to revive her. Another actor, playing her brother, wept as the officers failed to revive his sister and took him into “custody” for drunk driving. The exercise continued through the night as participants were able to witness the arrest, charge, and prosecution of the “drunk driver.”

The crash simulation was coordinated by student committees, local fire departments, police departments and ambulance squads. The objective of the simulation was to expose the students to the worst possible outcome of an accident, without them having to live through the experience. The simulation was planned right before prom season, in hopes that students think twice before they drink and drive or get into a vehicle with a drunk driver.

Source: New Jersey Herald, “Crash simulation gives dramatic lesson about drinking, driving” Eric Obernauer, April 4, 2012.

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