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PLEASE NOTE: In order to best serve our clients, our office will remain open for business. To protect your safety in response to the threats of COVID-19, we are offering our clients and prospective clients the ability to meet with us in person, via telephone or through video conferencing.

Distracted driving has become an epidemic, and the problem heavily affects teen drivers. According to AAA, in 60 percent of crashes involving a teen, the driver had been distracted by something for the six seconds before the accident happened. AAA investigated these accidents and found that 12 percent of the distractions were caused by mobile phone usage.

Many officials and experts argue that education is gravely needed to teach teens how to put their phones and other distractions away while behind the wheel. However, one school in Wisconsin is under fire by parents and students alike for staging the deaths of four students to teach the school a lesson about distracted driving. Was the outrage worth the educational moment?

Lesson learned?

On Wednesday, Oct. 26 at Brodhead High School in rural Wisconsin, an announcement was delivered that would distress students – not only for its content, but for the later admission that it wasn’t true.

After the Pledge of Allegiance, the school announced that four students were killed in a car accident due to texting and driving. The announcement even went into detail, stating that one student was rushed to the hospital but died. After students came to tears and many texted their parents to deliver the news and seek comfort, the announcer admitted after 10 minutes that there hadn’t been an accident, and no one had died.

The students who were part of the ruse have received plenty of backlash from parents, students and even teachers. The school has apologized, admitted that the scare tactic communication method was “flawed” and that they will either make changes or get rid of the activity altogether. Some students are applauding the strong reaction the school got from the activity, saying that teens need to get the message no matter what.

Reality is scarier than fiction

Although the methods of the Brodhead High School administration can be questioned, the message is truly important. Teens and adults alike who use mobile phones while driving are contributing to the sharp rise of car accidents. It’s not just talking on the phone that’s dangerous: texting, emailing and checking social media notifications or posting take the driver’s eyes off the road for long enough to cause deadly accidents. In fact, distracted driving has been found to be more dangerous than drunk driving.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident by a distracted driver, it’s incredibly important to find experienced legal representation right away. Your attorney could help you recover compensation related to any injuries, and lead you through the process while answering any important questions you have.