Teaching teens to avoid distracted driving

(File)

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Some Hartford students are learning the dangers of distracted driving. They’re participating in a mock traffic accident with emergency personnel.

The students at The Academy of Engineering and Green Technology are getting a dose of real life. They’re seeing first-hand what it’s like in the trauma room for patients and learning the aftermath of distracted driving.

“Distracted driving is any distractions in the vehicle. That may be a hands-free device whether that may be actually talking on the phone, texting on a cell phone, or someone changing the radio station,” said Marisol Feliciano, Violence and Injury Prevention Coordinator.

St. Francis Hospital in Hartford opens up the trauma room for hundreds of students a year in an education program called “let’s not meet by accident.”

Students learn how to make healthy choices in risky situations.

“Some kids come here and die. They might actually never leave this room. Some of them have permanent injuries fractures,” said Dr. William Marshall, Director of Trauma, St. Francis Hospital.

kids interested

“We have a student volunteer who simulates a mock trauma patient and we actually engage other students to participate and take on roles of those that are of the medics in the trauma bay,” said Feliciano.

Nurses say when a trauma patient arrives, every minute counts.

“You have sometimes up to 12 people here running around but each knowing exactly the job that they are doing. And every second matters when you’re saving somebody’s life,” said Annie Worshoufksy-Macaulay, Clinical Educator.

After watching the mock trauma, students say they’ll make better choices.

“It will help me make better decisions, seeing the role playing,” said Jazzmin Mitchell, student. “You are not just risking yourself. You are risking other families and other people on the road.”

“This is a life changing experience. To lose a family member or friend to texting and driving that does hit you hard and it’s not something I want to go through so I will make better choices,” said Brandon Napier, a student.

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