Mock student car crash aims to educate teenage drivers

Scottsdale police and fire departments will present a mock crash to Chaparral High School students to educate on driving safety. (photo by Melissa Fittro)

Chaparral High School and Scottsdale police and fire departments, will conduct a dramatic crash demonstration to kick off a year of teen driving safety awareness and prevention.

On Friday, Sept. 22, Chaparral’s students will envision losing one of their own in a fatal crash scene where first responders will give a real-life demonstration.

“This age group is at the greatest risk for death in a vehicular crash,” Chaparral High School Vice Principal Adam Kohnen said in a prepared statement. “Our hope is that the scene brings a sense of reality that this can happen to them if they don’t make good decisions when they’re behind the wheel.”

The mock crash is the initiation of a year of teen driver safety, seat belt awareness and substance prevention which the high school has committed to. CHS received a grant from the Arizona Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family to fund a prevention counselor at the school, according to a press release.

The counselor will provide awareness to education on the dangers of underage drinking and substance abuse, reduce drinking and other substance use, and improve interpersonal relationships and mental health.

More teenagers and young adults die in traffic crashes than from any other causes — and alcohol and seat belt non-use is a major factor, the press release stated. Every year alcohol-related crashes amount for 35 to nearly 40 percent of all traffic fatalities. In the 15- to 24-year-old age group, nearly half of all the traffic fatalities are alcohol-related.

Last year in the United States — and every year for the past decade — between 5,000 and 6,000 teenagers were killed in motor vehicle accidents.

This same demographic also has the lowest seat belt use rate. Each year, seat belt non-use accounts for more deaths among this age group.

Studies estimate that using a seat belt reduces the risk of death or series injury by 40 to 60 percent, the press release stated.

“The goal of a Fatality Awareness & Crash Training Simulation is to educate teenagers about the tragedy of alcohol-related crashes and the importance of seat belts,” Scottsdale Fire Captain Dave Folio said in a prepared statement. “When teens are involved in these types of crashes, it is devastating to families and the school community.”

The mock crash scene is provided in collaboration with Scottsdale Police and Fire departments and PMT Ambulance. The event is supported by a Helping Hands grant from the Allstate Foundation.

The Scottsdale Independent is published monthly and mailed to 75,000 homes and businesses in Scottsdale.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.