Brentwood High School Hosts Every 15 Minutes Program


Brentwood High School Hosts Every 15 Minutes Program

I’m Ed Smith, a Brentwood personal injury attorney. Drunk driving is a serious problem that can devastate a community, especially when a teenager is involved. A local Brentwood high school recently hosted a realistic and moving program to teach teens about the devastating consequences of these accidents.

Day One of Heritage High School’s Scenario

On 6 April, Heritage High School in Brentwood, California hosted the Every 15 Minutes program. Shortly after lunch, all of the students were summoned to an assembly on the athletic fields where a car accident was staged. While the students watched, emergency services extricated three of the students. One student was pronounced “dead” and the fourth student was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.

Day One: Before the Accident

In the morning before the accident simulation, students were interrupted every 15 minutes by a heartbeat flatlining over the intercom. Each time this happened, someone dressed as the grim reaper entered a classroom in order to remove one student. A law enforcement officer then read the obituary of the student removed. Each student removed represented a teenager killed due to drunk driving in the United States.

Day Two of Heritage High School’s Scenario

On day two of the program, students attended a mock funeral for the students that died as a result of drunk driving. Parents and siblings of the “deceased” students spoke to the gathered students about their devastation. A local firefighter also spoke about actual accidents he worked where teenagers died as a result of drunk driving. This was an especially poignant moment that left a large impact on gathered students.

Day Two: Video Package

The funeral includes a video documenting the aftermath of the collision from the day before. This includes the treatment of the injured students and the notification of the parents of all students involved in the accident. The video then followed the teenaged driver as he was booked into the local jail on charges of manslaughter. This was another moment that truly shocked the gathered students.

Community Participants

The Every 15 Minutes program is logistically complex and requires a lot of work by a lot of different people and organizations. The East Contra Costa Fire Protection District, Brentwood Police Department, California Highway Patrol (CHP), American Medical Response (AMR), and the Contra Costa County Coroner all participated in Heritage High’s event.

Every 15 Minutes is an expensive program to host and can cost schools several thousand dollars. Community and parent donations help offset this cost while community agencies donate time and supplies to bring this valuable program to local schools.

Teenager Drunk Driving

According to the California Department of Justice, teenagers account for 20 percent of all alcohol-related fatalities despite representing only 6 percent of licensed drivers.

Many drunk driving accidents involving teenagers are fatal accidents because the teenagers neglect to put on seatbelts. Seventy-four percent of teenagers killed in drunk driving accidents were unrestrained at the time of the crash.

The Every 15 Minutes program works to decrease these numbers by educating teenagers before it is too late.

Teenager Drunk Driving in Brentwood

Teenagers in Brentwood face an elevated risk from these types of accidents as Brentwood is surrounded by country highways. These long, straight roads are often poorly maintained with little to no lighting. Drunk driving accidents on these types of roads are especially common, thereby increasing the risk of a fatal teenage drunk driving accidents.

Brentwood Personal Injury & Car Accident Attorney

I’m Ed Smith, a Brentwood personal injury attorney. If you, or someone you love has been severely injured or even passed away due to an automobile accident, please give me a call at (925) 428-5220 for fast, free and friendly advice. I also may be contacted at my toll-free line at (800) 404-5400.

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Picture Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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