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Program warns teens about dangers of distracted driving accidents

Louisiana police state that, so far in 2019, there have been an estimated 50 fatalities along state highways. The state is about average when it comes to teen fatalities caused by car crashes. However, officials and educators are working to educate and warn teen drivers about the dangers of distracted driving accidents.

Police, state agencies and medical professionals devised a program to help decrease the likelihood that teens may make poor choices that can lead to a serious accident. The program, Sudden Impact, was designed to thoroughly educate teenagers on all of the dangers and responsibilities that come with the privilege of obtaining a driver's license. Students are taken through all of the possible outcomes when they neglect to use safety restraints or practice safe driving skills.

Rather than a scared-straight program, it is hoped that young drivers will learn that decisions and actions can have far-reaching consequences for themselves, their families and the greater community. The program features impact statements from victims, visits to trauma rooms and the experience of a mocked-up crash scene. The program is run by Louisiana State Police, the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission and the University Medical Center.

Due to its success, Sudden Impact has expanded to nine regions throughout the state. Officials report that approximately 2,000 students went through the program in 2018. It is hoped that education efforts such as this one will help reduce the teenage fatality rate caused by vehicle crashes. Those who have been injured in distracted driving accidents often face a long road to recovery. If a serious crash was the fault of another party, then a civil injury lawsuit may help victims obtain compensation for the damages they sustained.

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