Every 15 minutes, someone in the U.S. is severely injured or killed in an alcohol-related or distracted driving accident.  And, traffic collisions are the leading cause of death among teens.  We just wrapped an moving and powerful program at my local high school with a team of incredible parents and students, and I can’t wait to share the details with you.

Long story short, we staged a car crash in front of our high school; staged a 911 call reporting an accident on the school grounds with possible fatalities, and rushed the 2,000+ students outside.  Then, in partnering with local Fire/Rescue, Police, and Hospital teams, had a full scale emergency response to demonstrate the “what if” to kids in a way that was very visual so they could get the full impact of a situation that unfortunately, happens all of the time in our communities.  “Victims” were made up with realistic blood & wounds; sheets were drawn over victims; one was rushed to the hospital; the “driver,” after failing a sobriety test in front of all of her peers, was handcuffed and taken off in the police car.

Throughout the school day, there was a symbolic “death” every 15 minutes, where a student was pulled from class by a “grim reaper,” and his/her obituary was read by a police officer.  This video, produced at the school, is a chilling look at the dangers of drinking and texting while driving and takes you through the pre-party, the crash scene and emergency response, the rush to the hospital, and the aftermath – check it out:

The Every 15 Minutes program is a fabulous national program, that I’d highly recommend, with many layers, aimed at educating teenagers on the dangers of drinking and distracted driving.  More to follow on powerful messages that came out of this program to educate kids on the dangers of distracted driving.


what is distracted driving







distracted driving



More links on this topic:

  • AT&T’s “It Can W8” video, showing the devastating effects some text messages had on peoples’ lives – so sad that a “LOL” or “C U LTR” could end a life…or leave someone permanently impaired.
  • Distracted Driving Statistics from NHSTA “Get the Facts” – Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation, has a great quote:  “Distracted driving is an epidemic on America’s roadways.  You see it every day:  Drivers swerving in their lanes, stopping at green lights, running red ones, or narrowly missing a pedestrian because they have their eyes and minds on their phones instead of the road.  Yet, people continue to assume that they can drive and text or talk at the same time.”
  • AT&T’s infographic on texting & driving

Photos of staged crash scene & emergency response by Denise Schleckser