A reality-based portrayal of a car crash and the subsequent response by first responders, emergency medical personnel, and law enforcement took place on Thursday, April 27, at Mt. Juliet High School. A joint-effort with the school’s HOSA – Future Health Professionals class, Mt. Juliet Police Department, Fire Department of Mt. Juliet, Wilson County EMA, and Vanderbilt LifeFlight brought the dangers of distracted driving to reality, just days before prom and in reflection of Distracted Driving Awareness month.
The purpose of this exercise was to impress upon students the serious consequences of driving while distracted. The students received firsthand experience of exactly what they could be responsible for, including killing someone, possibly one of their friends, as well as being arrested for crimes as serious as vehicular homicide. In addition, the mock crash is also a reminder for parents and guardians to talk to their teens about the consequences of bad driving behavior. According to a NHTSA study, ten percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. Teens are the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of the crashes.
The crash took place on Golden Bear Gateway, directly in front of Mt. Juliet High School. Therefore, Golden Bear Gateway was closed for the exercise. During the simulated response, there were emergency vehicles and a medical helicopter in the area of Mt. Juliet High School.
Hamblen’s Wrecker Service of Mt. Juliet provided the crashed vehicle for the exercise, which involved a distracted driver running off the roadway and striking a tree.