Every 15 Minutes demonstrates consequences of distracted driving


Sidney Odman - Staff Writer

Every other year, the program Every 15 Minutes comes to CHS in order to educate students on the dangers of irresponsible driving. Every 15 minutes someone dies from an alcohol related car crash–-a statistic that inspired the name of the program. Recently, there has been controversy as to whether to continue the program or not. But in reality, the program is very beneficial. Every 15 Minutes provides a real life experience without the real life risks of a fatal car accident, as well as provides a safe way for students to gain awareness of the risks involved with texting and driving under the influence. Additionally, because high school students are young drivers, they need to be informed of the consequences of their actions on the road. Furthermore, the emotional impact that Every 15 Minutes has on students genuinely affects and inspires them to drive responsibly, as through the program they are able to witness the influence and collateral damage that distracted driving can have on others.

Every 15 Minutes is a very expansive event, and preparation begins months in advance of the actual presentation. When the program begins on the first day, CHS administration announces the “deaths” of various students due to car accidents at 15 minute intervals, in homage to the “every 15 minutes” statistic. Additionally, the program includes a simulated traffic collision that involves real CHS students. Finally, a funeral is held in honor of the students who “passed away” within the program. Freshmen and sophomores attend an assembly about texting and driving under the influence. All of these factors provides students with an idea of what a real car collision is like, and how one isolated incident can have enormous consequences.

Moreover, many high school students have their licenses or will be getting their licenses in the near future. As young drivers, students are much more susceptible to possible car collisions due to less experience on the road. The dangers and consequences of reckless driving decisions must be brought to the attention of students in order to prevent such collisions from happening.

“The program makes the fatal outcome of driving under the influence a personal issue, and ingrains the message into [one’s] head,” said senior Andrew Isaac.

Not only is Every 15 Minutes informative, but also the program has a personal and emotional impact on all students involved. Most young drivers are aware of the statistics and dangers involved with distracted driving, but few really believe that these type of events could happen to them. Witnessing the effects of a real accident involving close friends and classmates opens the eyes of students as they experience the aftermath of a fatal car collision. This real-life aspect of the Every 15 Minutes program is what makes it so unique and so effective.

Overall, Every 15 Minutes is an extremely important program to have at school. Fatal car accidents involving teen drivers is an epidemic, and schools must embrace the responsibility to educate their students of the consequences that result from such an event.