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MVH Drive Smart Program Delivers Sobering Message to Students

Mock crash warns teens of drinking and driving dangers.

DAYTON, OHIO, April 13, 2007 - For many high school students, prom is one of the most anticipated nights of their young lives. A great deal of planning goes into getting ready for the big dance including selecting wardrobes, choosing where to have dinner before the dance and where to party after prom.

Despite all the planning, what many prom goers fail to do is prepare for their safety. That is why Miami Valley Hospital’s CareFlight/MICU and Trauma Program have teamed up with local police, fire department and EMS personnel to present “Drive Smart: A Drug and Alcohol Awareness Program for High School Students”.The 60-minute program recreates a motor vehicle accident complete with casualties and between April 12 and May 11 over twenty programs will be held at area high schools in the region.

 “The aim of Drive Smart is to make high school students aware of the risks, required resources and ramifications that are possible when they make bad choices and then get into a motor vehicle,” says Beth Newman-Hill RN, outreach coordinator of CareFlight Air and Motor Services at Miami Valley Hospital.

The Ohio Public Safety Department reports that in 2006 16-year-old drivers were at fault in 85 percent of the fatal accidents in which they were involved. Among 16-and17-year old drivers, the presence of passengers increased the risks of causalities, the study showed.

“These figures confirm that teens need more education about making wise choices when driving,” says Newman-Hill. During the Drive Smart program students will see firsthand what happens at an accident scene as the re-enactment of a rescue unfolds. Students will witness injured classmates taken away by ambulance and by CareFlight, Miami Valley’s medical helicopter. Law enforcement officials will also show how a sobriety test is given.

One of the most moving parts of the program will be remarks made by Cher Clark and Rick Parker who lost their teenage son when he died tragically in an alcohol related accident. The couple use their experience to try and encourage teens to make better choices when they get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.

By the end of May more than 6,000 students, educators and parents will have observed or participated in the Drive Smart Program. A list of program dates and locations is attached to this news release.