Every year around prom and graduation, a number of high schools around the country host elaborate mock crashes to drive home the dangers of distracted driving. Police officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel stage a mock motor vehicle collision on the grounds of the schools in an effort to remind students how driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or driving while districted by texting or talking on a cell phone can have deadly consequences. The practice dates back to the early 1990s. The scenes are meant to shock and startle.
But they may not pack the punch organizers are going for even as emergency responders, fire-rescue trucks, helicopters and other community resources are deployed to show what happens after a major crash. Research shows that a few days after the mock crash the gripping display of twisted bodies and metal fades from teen’s minds, and their sense of invincibility returns, said Penny Wells, executive director, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD).
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Adolescent health (HHS), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, accounting for more than one in three deaths of high school students.
Parents need to encourage your young driver to drive responsibly by following speed limits and avoiding distractions while driving such as talking on a cell phone, focusing on the radio or even looking at fellow passengers instead of the road. When parents set the example, it is more likely the teens will do the same.
Bill Daniels is a trial lawyer and shareholder with the law firm of DANIELS LAW in Sherman Oaks, CA. A graduate of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, he is a former member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles Board of Governors, a founding member of Loyola’s Civil Justice Program and a past president of the Encino Lawyers Association. Since 2007, he has been named a Southern California “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine. Mr. Daniels focuses his practice on serious personal injury, insurance and employment. For information, visit our website at www.daniels.legal or contact us through e-mail: Info@danielslaw.com.