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Every 15 minutes, disaster strikes.
It could have been someone drinking one too many.
It might have been a random text driving accident.
Either way, Temecula Valley High School became the scene of this mock-disaster drill.
Temecula Valley Unified School District Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors got a first hand look at what it feels like to lose a friend at the hands of a drunk driver.students got a first hand look at what the aftermath of such a disaster is like.
The campaign originated with MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and has expanded to include the dangers of texting while driving — which mirrors drunk driving behavior according to studies — or by people getting behind the wheel after one drink too many.
“Life’s lessons are best learned through experience. Unfortunately, when the target audience is teens and the topic is drinking and texting while driving, experience is not the teacher of choice.” States the Every 15 Minutes Web site.
According to the program, significant changes occur from pre-to post program with the students who participate, including:
- students decreased the number of daily and weekly drinking episodes
- less likely to drive when drinking
- less likely to drive when they had drunk 3-4 drinks or 5 or more drinks
- less likely to be a passenger with a driver who had been drinking
- less likely to ride with a driver who had drunk 1-2 drinks or 3-4 drinks
- more likely to watch how much their friends are drinking
- more likely to worry about how much their friends are drinking
- more likely to prevent their friends from driving when the friends are drinking
- more likely to talk with their own parents about drinking
- more likely to talk with a teacher about drinking
- more likely to designate a non-drinking driver
- more likely to buckle their seat belts
- more likely to monitor their own intake of alcohol
- more likely to call for a ride home rather than drink and drive
- more likely to choose not to drink
- more likely to take some ones keys or hand over their keys if drinking
- less likely to engage in drinking games
- less likely to binge drink
- more likely to walk home rather than drive
- more likely to get a ride home rather than drink and drive
- more likely to write a contract with parents regarding circumstances of drinking and driving behavior
During the program, students also must write a letter to their parents, and face the consequences of their “mock” decision to drink (or text) and drive– starting with the statement:
“Dear Mom and Dad, every fifteen minutes someone in the United States dies from an alcohol related traffic collision, and today I died. I never had the chance to tell you…….”
This powerful tool, for both parents and teens, opens up avenues of conversation that otherwise might not have been broached.