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Teens shock their classmate to avoid car accidents

Many Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) chapters are focusing their safe driving education efforts around decreasing drunk driving after prom. SADD members are also hoping that their classmates adopt other safety measures such as wearing seatbelts and avoiding texting.

We recently discussed a study indicating the prevalence of teen car accident deaths. Car accidents kill more teens in Tennessee and around the country than any other cause with approximately 4,000 teens dying in accidents every year.

To help bring this message to the attention of high school students, one chapter of SADD is staging a week of dramatic events to help shock high school students into safe driving. The safety week includes a mock crash with a medical helicopter and a mock funeral of 12 students.

"It's just supposed to shock other students when they see everyone lying down with a white cloth over their head," the vice president of the school's SADD chapter said.

The local police department also got involved and went to the high school's student parking lot to see whether drivers were buckling up. Drivers who were buckled up were entered into a raffle for gas cards whereas unbuckled teens were handed toe tags that are similar to the tags placed on dead bodies.

Most of the teens were wearing seat belts and officers only had to hand out a handful of toe tags to students, including to a pair of students who said that they forgot to buckle up because they were running late.

"This is hopefully a good reminder to them to put the seat belt on, regardless of the excuse," a police officer said. "'I forgot,' 'I'm running late,' whatever it is, there actually are true consequences to not wearing them."

Source: The Superior Telegram, "Shock leads to safety," Maria Lockwood, 5/4/11

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