Wreck dramatization quells student texting

Thursday, April 6, 2017
Texting while driving kills teenagers at an alarming rate nationwide, and these Marshall County High School senior students got a dramatic view of the consequences during this mock drill.
Tribune photo by Scott Pearson

It might have been the day before April Fools Day, but the scene enacted at Marshall County High School on Friday was deadly serious.

It was the annual “car crash” scenario, played out for the seniors to teach them about safe driving.

Teacher Kim Anderson and her Future Business Leaders of America group presented the program, aimed at the dangers of texting and driving.

The Lewisburg Police Department, Lewisburg Fire Department, Marshall County Emergency Medical Services and Air Evac emergency helicopter transport joined in to present a realistic fatal auto accident scene.

The “wreck” which used two already wrecked vehicles and realistic, bloody stage makeup demonstrated the reality of a fatal accident, with an emotional impact for some of the students watching.

“We don’t do this to make you upset,” Anderson told the students. “We do this to show you what could happen.”

Years ago, presentations like this focused on the dangers of drinking and driving, especially around prom season, but the focus now is on distracted driving.

Close to 3,000 teenagers die in auto accidents each year, many directly attributable to distracted driving. Auto accidents are the number one cause of death for teens in the United States, according to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Road fatalities in some states, Colorado as one example, are beginning to climb after years of decline, a trend that public safety officials blame on distracted driving.

Just last week, a crash in Texas that killed 13 after a church bus was hit head on by a truck was blamed on the driver of the truck texting while driving.