Bethlehem high school students saw firsthand the consequences of drunken or distracted driving recently when a traveling safety education program staged a car accident at their school. The program, called “Every 15 Minutes” after the time, on average, between each fatal car accident linked to drunken driving that occurs in the United States. Students at Bethlehem’s Freedom High School watched a simulated car accident that culminated in the staged death of two of their classmates, and a six and a half year prison sentence for the student playing the driver responsible for vehicular homicide. In addition to the mock traffic collision, students listened to a speech presented by the parent of a teenage girl killed in a drunken driving accident. Event organizers say the program is effective because it makes the emotional experience of the real life consequences of a fatal car accident more tangible for teenagers. Students reported being moved to change their unsafe driving behaviors after witnessing the presentation, with some students saying they would not drive or ride as the passenger of a person under the influence of alcohol or get into a car with another teenager if the driver insisted on using a handheld communication device while behind the wheel.
As a Riverside car accident lawyer, I sincerely hope that safety education programs like this one are successful in reducing the number of auto collisions that occur on U.S. roadways every year. If you or someone you love has been injured in a traffic accident, please consider discussing your legal options with a personal injury attorney in San Bernardino.