Every Fifteen Minutes Program
There is no greater teacher than experience, and Highland Park High School in New Jersey is providing an experience to their students unlike any other. The high school’s, “Every Fifteen Minutes” program provides students with real life experience on the dangers, trauma, impact, and consequences of driving drunk or driving while texting.
The “Every Fifteen Minutes” program is based on the statistic that one person dies every 15 minutes in the United States as a result of a drunk driving or texting while driving car accident. In 2016, 451 teenagers aged 15-19 died in car accidents resulting from driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In that same year, 263 teenage drivers were fatally injured in distracted driving accidents.
Every Fifteen Minutes Program
The “Every Fifteen Minutes” program at Highland Park High School involved two days of intense activities and real life simulations. During day one, a random student was called out of class every 15 minutes to simulate the one person that dies in a drunk or distracted driving car accident each day. A uniformed police officer entered the classroom and read an obituary for that student that was written by their parents.
The student then returned to class with a white painted face, a black tee shirt, and a coroner’s tag indicating the student died in the car accident. While these students continued classes throughout the day, they did not speak or interact with their peers. Police officers visited the home of the student to report their death to their parents.
A mock multi-car accident was staged in the parking lot of the school with students playing the roles of the drunk or distracted driver, the injured, and the dead. Community firefighters extracted victims from the mangled cars using the Jaws of Life while the coroner pronounced the dead at the scene. “Injured” victims were loaded into ambulances and taken to the emergency room, the “dead” were taken to the actual morgue, and the driver “charged” with the accident was handcuffed and taken to the police station for booking.
The students were then taken to a local hotel for an overnight retreat. During this time, the students wrote a letter to their parents explaining how they died from texting or drunk driving. They also received letters from their parents describing their pain and angst at learning of their child’s death.
The following day, students wore virtual reality goggles that allowed them to experience first hand what it is like to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and how quickly an accident can happen when they text and drive.
The day concluded with an assembly for the student body that included testimony from students, parents, and hospital personnel that have experienced the trauma of teenage car accidents.
Students that participated in the “Every Fifteen Minutes” program report that it has had an extremely emotional and realistic impact on their decision to not drink or text while driving.
Highland Park Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Represent Victims of Drunk and Distracted Drivers
If you or someone you love has been injured by a drunk or distracted driver, call the Highland Park car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr at 877-249-4600 or 732-537-8570, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our Highland Park offices serve clients throughout New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.