A graphic crash scenario in Wathena, Kan. showed young drivers the potential results of driving drunk and driving distracted.
"I'm never gonna forget it at all. I was scared when the officer was asking me questions and everything it felt like I had really caused it," said Alex Stanton, a senior from Troy who participated in the exercise.
Stanton was one of several students who took part in Thursday's crash simulation to show teens just how serious drinking and driving is. Stanton says although the crash wasn't real, it felt real.
"At first, we were all excited to participate and do the scenario and then when it started happening and got all serious it really sank in about how this could really be real," stated Stanton.
Officials say it's important to reenact this type of scenario for students so they can get a better understanding of what could happen if they were to drive under the influence or drive distracted
"What we're trying to do is educate drivers with good techniques to make good choices before they get in an automobile," stated Magistrate District Judge Roy Roper of Doniphan County.
The scene was set up as a deadly head-on collision that was caused by a drunk driver. Emergency crews were on standby to reenact what a fatal crash response is really like.
Roper says although the scene was shocking to watch, he hopes it will remind teens about the importance of being alert behind the wheel.
"To have a closer involvement, even as a spectator, on a simulation of this type here better impacts in our minds that perspective driving," added Roper.
Stanton says the exercise opened her eyes and gave her a new perspective.
"I never want this to be a real situation and I'm never gonna let myself be in that situation at all because just pretending to be in that kind of place it was a bad feeling," said Stanton.
On average, a drunk driver will drive 80 times under the influence before their first arrest. Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for teens, and roughly one-third of these accidents involve alcohol or another substance.
To learn more about the dangers of drunk and distracted driving, click here.
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