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Dangers of teen drunk driving – fictional tales of death and tragedy

May 11, 2011 by Steven M. Gursten

Auto accident attorney shares high school ‘Scared Straight’ simulation program that uses police, grim reaper and mock obituaries to deter teenage drunk driving

As a Michigan auto accident attorney, I’ve seen first-hand the devastating, tragic consequences of how drunk driving can shatter lives. And I believe we should be doing whatever it takes to deter drivers, especially teenage drivers, from drinking and driving.

That’s why I think the high school program to deter drunk driving featured on the Today Show is worth sharing.

The real problem with teenage drunk driving, of course, is that teenagers believe they are immortal and indestructible. To drive home the reality of drunk driving, the program designates a high school student to portray a fictional drunk driver who causes a fatal car accident. And instead of just preaching, the high school program also designates random high school students to portray the fictional accident victims.

To amp up the drama , the program arranges for a police officer dressed in a grim reaper costume to summon the “victims” of drunk driving from their classrooms. Thereafter, the victims’ obituaries are read.

Students from Brighton High School hosted a mock accident like this just last week. Here’s an article about the event – Mock crash kills prom dreams in Brighton.

In 2009, 5,100 teenagers were injured or killed in alcohol-related car accidents. That’s 5,100 too many. We can never completely stop people from drinking and driving and killing and injuring others, but we can educate and get this message out in as many ways as possible.

Let’s learn from the “scared straight” lesson reported on the Today Show story and continue find new ways to protect our youth from preventable car accidents.

Steven Gursten is recognized as one of the nation’s top attorneys handling serious car and truck accident lawsuits and automobile insurance No-Fault litigation. He routinely writes about safe driving and the auto laws in Michigan, and is available for comment.

Related information:

New Michigan law targets drunker drivers

Michigan’s new teen driving law

Recent car accident FAQs

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