Youth Leadership Program Healthcare Day discourages teens from texting and driving

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Columbia County’s Chamber of Commerce Youth Leadership Program is working to prevent students from texting and driving, by showing them a mock car crash and demonstration of how emergency responders work through rescue efforts.

According to Georgia Department of Driver Services, there were more than 60 thousand distracted driver convictions in 2019.

Thursday, Gold Cross and Doctors Hospital teamed up for a mock trauma scenario, allowing students to act as crash victims.

“It was a little scary walking up to see that in person, and I know that happens on a daily occurrence, and to see people I know in the car made my heart drop at first,” Evans High School sophomore, Camdyn Douglas said.

Michael Meyers of Gold Cross says it’s impactful when young people see how severe a texting and driving crash can be, and realize it could happen to anyone.

“It’s eye-opening when you can actually see a wrecked car, when you see someone being cut out of a wrecked vehicle,” Meyers said. “Knowing the people, even though it’s just a demonstration, but imagining someone that you actually know, and being able to see the cause and the damage that can happen by distracted driving.”

Grovetown High School junior Henry Stephens IV, who played a crash victim in the scenario, says the demonstration was eye-opening.

“Texting is a thing that we do all the time, and even though some people do do it in their cars, it’s not the safest thing to do, so seeing what actually happens when you text and drive kind of brings to life, ‘Hey, maybe I should not text and drive,'” Stephens said.

Students witnessed how EMS workers respond to these accidents, including seeing a helicopter land at the scene, as crash victims are often airlifted due to the severity and urgency of their injuries.

“Seeing how it impacted so many people by one person texting, it shows me that it’s really not worth it,” Douglas said.

The exercise also gave students a look at different career opportunities, like becoming a nurse, an EMS worker, or a helicopter pilot.

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