DESERT MOUNTAIN HIGH CRASH RESCUE DEMO HIGHLIGHTS TEEN DRIVER SAFETY, SEATBELTS
Schools participate in Seatbelt Challenge; Supported with State Farm Grant
Media Contacts: Lori Schmidt, Scottsdale Fire Dept.
(480) 272-1710 office or firstname.lastname@example.org
On April 4, Desert Mountain High School students will get a firsthand look at the results of a deadly crash during a mock presentation on the football field at 8:45 am. Desert Mountain is at 12575 E. Via Linda, Scottsdale.
“This scenario comes at an important time in the school year, just before Prom,” says Desert Mountain School Resource Officer Rob Katzaroff. “We’re hoping the students will really pay attention to the consequences of their actions – including the choice to wear a seat belt every time they get into a vehicle.”
The demonstration is part of the Scottsdale Seatbelt Challenge, which encourages seat belt use by teens. The program, supported by grant funds from State Farm and coordinated by Scottsdale Fire Department, is designed to encourage safe driving habits amongst teens and increase their seat belt usage. Students create the messages and design awareness initiatives for their peers. Seatbelt observations are conducted throughout the school year to determine if their efforts are making an impact on fellow students’ driving behaviors. Cactus Shadows, Coronado and Arcadia high schools are also participating in the challenge.
More teenagers and young adults die in traffic crashes than from any other cause — and alcohol and seat belt non-use is a major factor. Every year, alcohol-related crashes account for 35 to nearly 40 percent of all traffic fatalities. In the 15- to 24-year-old age group, nearly half of the traffic fatalities are alcohol-related. Last year in the United States — and every year for the past decade — between 5,000 and 6,000 teenagers were killed in motor vehicle accidents. This same demographic also has the lowest seat belt use rate. Each year, seat belt non-use accounts for more deaths among this age group. Studies estimate that using a seat belt reduces the risk of death or serious injury by 40 to 60 percent.
“The goal of a Fatality Awareness & Crash Training Simulation is to educate teenagers and young adults about the tragedy of alcohol-related crashes and the importance of seat belts,” says Scottsdale Fire Captain Dave Folio. “When teens are involved in these types of crashes, it is devastating to families and the school community.”
The mock crash scene is provided in collaboration with Scottsdale Police and Fire departments, Messingers Mortuary, Native Air and PMT Ambulance.