Mock Crashes Show Teens Danger of Drunk Driving

Every 90 seconds, someone is injured in a drunk driving crash, and every 53 minutes someone dies in a drunk driving crash, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Paramedics and educators around the country are intent on making these statistics real for teens by staging mock drunk driving crashes at high schools across the country.

By giving teens a grisly visual of the effects of drunk driving, these programs hope to scare teens away from drinking and driving.

Staging the Crime

In one recent mock crash, the Orange County Sheriff's Department, the California Highway Patrol, a local ambulance service, a towing company and a group of drama students collaborated to send an anti-drunk driving message to students at Aliso Niguel High School. According to the OC Register, the mock crash was witnessed by nearly 1,000 students, and during the demonstration, drama students and emergency personnel demonstrated exactly what a full response to a drunk driving crash would look like.

To keep things looking true-to-life, the group had a local mortuary apply grisly makeup to the victims involved in the crash, and an SUV was even pried open with the jaws of life.

Creating a Mock Crash

Mock drunk driving crashes are traditionally organized by members of the school's Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) organization, and the group has tips for schools who want to organize their own demonstration. In order to make it realistic, SADD advises getting as many emergency personnel involved as possible.

Students need to hear the sirens and witness the drama of the event just as much as they need to see their friends zipped into body bags and taken away from the scene. To make these deaths even more real, some schools have the mock victims spend the rest of the day or the week in complete silence.

After the crash, the students involved come forward and answer questions about the process. The medic who treats the patients talks in-depth about the injuries that they sustained as well. In most cases, the medic will describe real injuries that were sustained in real drunk driving crashes, explaining to the students that these injuries are as likely to happen to people riding with the drunk driver as they are to passengers of the car that got hit.

According to MADD, just over half of the children killed in drunk driving crashes were in the car with the drunk driver, but the other 46 percent of victims were in the car who got hit. During the discussion, police officers will give chilling accounts of what it's like to tell a family that one of their loved ones has died as a result of a drunk driving crash. Parents may come forward and talk about how they felt when they found out that their son or daughter caused the deaths of others by driving drunk.

Bringing the Message Home

If your child's school does not have the resources to stage a mock accident, there are other ways to teach these lessons. Countless videos are online of other mock crashes, and using Verizon fiber you can get the clearest and fastest visuals to make the biggest impact on your child. Remember the discussion is typically the most moving part of the demonstration. Rather than just showing your child the video, make sure you are there to answer their questions and tell them a few stats about the risks.

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