Nauset Horizons

Mock Vehicle Crash at High School Designed to Prevent Impaired Driving

Cam Cummins, Author

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On average, vehicle crashes are more likely for teens from ages sixteen to nineteen. This is due to inexperience, distracted driving or driving while under the influence, all relatively common. Driving under the influence is defined as driving a motor vehicle impaired by using alcohol or other drugs that impair driving.

On May 22, 2017, Nauset Regional High School held its 20th annual mock prom/graduation car crash. The safety assembly was designed for the senior class at Nauset and emphasized the consequences of driving while impaired. Essentially, this safety assembly is important to get the information across that a life-changing event can take place and that it can happen to anyone.   

A portion of the honors acting class at the high school participated in the fake crash. The students had a number of fake injured designed by the drama club’s makeup. To emphasize life changing events, one student from the class “died.”

Police departments from the surrounding areas were the first to respond to the scene followed by the Wellfleet Fire Department, the Brewster Fire Department and finally the Eastham Fire Department. Each responder on scene portrayed what would actually take place at a real motor vehicle accident scene. One of the drivers was arrested by two officers for drunk driving. He was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) and motor vehicle homicide, two life-changing events which took place in one day.

The last vehicle, which wouldn’t usually respond to a motor vehicle accident (MVA) scene, was a hearse. This shocked the crowd due to its rarity. Two funeral home employees stepped out of the hearse and placed the body in a body bag, and before driving off, they placed the body in the back of the hearse.

Once the scene was cleared, the students were sent to the auditorium where a police officer gave an emotional story about how he lost his daughter ten years ago to drunk driving. After a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston Massachusetts, she and her friends were leaving, headed back to Cape Cod. The daughter didn’t know her friend who was driving was drunk. The driver was speeding 50 miles over the posted speed limit and t-boned a tree, ultimately killing himself, the police officer’s daughter and two other people. The officer received the call at 1 a.m. that there was a crash and his daughter didn’t make it. Another call came in a few hours later asking him to identify the body. The emotional story affected the audience of seniors with a number of tears shed.

The information is valuable and isn’t meant to scare the seniors; however, it is important to identify the consequences and plant the idea that anything can happen to anyone. The school seems to be taking a zero tolerance approach to drinking or abusing drugs this year and is stepping up its enforcement. Overall, the assembly is beneficial to every student who attended and more schools should implement this safety assembly in order to inform and possibly save a life. Anything can happen to anyone; however, driving under the influence can be prevented.  

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Mock Vehicle Crash at High School Designed to Prevent Impaired Driving