Educators at Yucca Valley High School have developed an extremely effective program to dissuade teenagers from drinking and driving. Each year, the school holds a two-day assembly right before prom, called "Every 15 Minutes" which is aptly named after the statistic that someone is killed in a alcohol-related auto accident every 15 minutes in this country.
The program's effectiveness hinges on student's involvement in acting out the scenario of a drunk driving accident in front of the school. In the skit, one student drinks heavily at a party and then gets behind the wheel to go buy more alcohol. Though friends try to convince her not to drive, she convinces them that she is fine and not drunk. On the way, she races at 75mph on a local road, swerves into oncoming traffic, and crashes into a car driven by another student.
One passenger was thrown through the windshield and was killed instantly. Another passenger had to be airlifted from the scene and subsequently died from their injuries. Another passenger was found dead at the scene by paramedics who participated in the skit. The "deceased" students were zipped up in body bags and carted away. The young teenagers who were killed in the skit even spent the night at a hotel and weren't allowed to communicate with any friends or family members.
The following morning, a mock-funeral was held at the school. Family members and teachers delivered realistic eulogies eliciting emotional responses from the audience. Many students were surprised at how much it affected them, knowing very well that they're friends weren't actually dead. Police Officers spoke about the reality and frequency of the situation played-out, while parents of real-life accident victims killed by drinking or drugs shared their stories.
We would love to see these kinds of educational programs at every school around the country. If there's something that can be done to reduce the rates of drinking and driving, especially among teenagers, then it's our responsibility to deliver that message. As a Personal Injury Lawyer Seattle at the Law Offices of Kirk Bernard, we see the devastating effects of alcohol-related car accidents frequently. We applaud the educators at Yucca Valley High School for finding an effective way to get the message through to teenage drivers. You can find the original article here.