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Program stages mock car accident to discourage drunk driving

A black Ford Mustang and green Chevrolet pickup faced each other, both damaged and with occupants of the cars suffering from severe injuries. A pair of students headed to prom came across the car accident and called for help. Not soon after, the site was brimming with various emergency personnel.

The car accident site differed from others as it was not a real one: It was staged by the Lincoln Parish branch of the Louisiana Safety Commission's Safe Communities Program to teach future drivers the importance of driving safely and the possible repercussions of driving while under the influence or inattentively.

A mock car crash was organized to alert high school students not only to the immediate consequences of a serious car wreck as well as the impact of a single action on the lives of everyone involved. A state trooper said that the focus of the mock accident was on showing how anything that can affect driving skills can change someone's life -- not only cause a fatality but also severely injure someone who is involved.

According to one of the coordinators of the effort, organizers also wanted to highlight the gravity of the punishment of the accused driver, who would face time in prison for causing the accident.

The simulation was orchestrated to reduce the number of drunk driving accidents and fatal car crashes, especially in the upcoming prom season. Not only was it an attempt to discourage underage drinking but also to make sure residents did not allow their loved ones to get into a car with a drunk driver.

Source: The News Star, "Mock crash teaches lessons," Zack Southwell, March 27, 2012

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