Four Fleetwood students acted as role players during a mock car crash demonstration on the Fleetwood High School parking lot last Friday afternoon. Seniors Ian Miller, Dayne Kishbaugh, Dominic Barrell-Kobryn and Delani Walker all helped to make the event more impactful.
The message behind the demonstration was a simple one: the decisions you make behind the wheel as a teen driver can determine if you avoid an accident, walk away from an accident, or are carried away.
The other message made clear was that unsafe behaviors by teen drivers and passengers may not only lead to severe injury or death, but they may get you an arrest and a ride in a police car, along with a lifetime of living with the consequences of a momentary bad decision.
The demonstration was organized by the Fleetwood Area School District along with the Fleetwood Fire and Police Departments. This collaboration, along with the participation of numerous first responders, including two Penn State Life Lion ambulance crews and scores of volunteer firefighters, helped to make the event work.
It is designed to have a level of realism that hopefully will make an impression on young drivers and their passengers, and lead to safer habits. Because the event can be distressing for some, students are given the option to attend the event or go to an alternative location.
To reinforce what was seen during the demonstration, a presentation by Fleetwood Fire Chief John Manmiller and Fleetwood Police Chief Dale Ulshafer, along with Fleetwood Administrators, followed the event.
This vehicle safety message is especially important with traffic fatalities continuing to rise according to the National Highway Safety Administration. Speeding, impaired and distracted driving, and not wearing seatbelts are all factors that have contributed to this increase.