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Students See Dangers Of Distracted Driving

October 1, 2010, 4:52 PM by Shawn Neisteadt

Students See Dangers Of Distracted Driving
HARRISBURG, SD - Visit any area high school and you might struggle to find a junior or senior who doesn't have a cell phone. Those same devices are blamed on up to 20 percent of all driving accidents across the country. That's why Harrisburg's juniors and seniors got an up close look at why distracted driving can be dangerous.

The scene is the parking lot of the Harrisburg High School. The problem is a teen driver just made a big mistake, sending a text message while driving. The result is a busted windshield and two hurt students.

"It definitely hits home with some students here," Harrisburg Junior Kaylee Schirado said.

Schirado watched as the realistic crash and emergency response played out. She says the message sent by the dramatization is clear.

"The main point of that is just its hard to wait until you get home to text your friend or whatever, it's a big issue right now. It's yeah, it's a big issue here at our school," Schirado said.

An issue fellow students hope to help correct. FCCLA students organized this event and plan several others to help teach everyone in their school about the dangers of distracted driving.

"It was scary. It really did scare me. But yeah, it was very interesting to come out here and see it and see all the faces of the students around here watching it," Schirado said.

Across the nation, 6,000 people a year die in distracted driving crashes. And students in Harrisburg now know how easily they or their friends could become one of those statistics.

"Oh, this could never happen. Everyone says that at some point and it really can happen. They just need to take that into consideration once in a while," Schirado said.

Following the dramatization, the students assembled inside the school to learn more about texting and driving.  Students also plan to use video from Friday's lesson to produce short messages to be displayed on the school's video board during football games.

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