LGMC Educates Teens on Safe Driving

7/21/2015

Several teenaged children of employees at Lafayette General Medical Center (LGMC) were treated to a lesson in safe driving today. “Sudden Impact,” the program launched by Louisiana State Police to educate beginning drivers, was hosted by LGMC as a gesture of community outreach. The purpose of the program is to prevent injuries and fatalities from impaired and/or unrestrained drivers.

The teens heard speeches from law enforcement, car crash survivors and medical workers. State Police provided the teens with “drunk goggles” to simulate the blurred vision of alcohol intoxication. They were then given field sobriety tests to experience the hazards of impaired driving.

The students were then taken to visit different areas of the hospital to see where accident victims are often treated in the hospital, such as the trauma area of the ER and the Intensive Care Unit. The teens also planned to witness a medical air transport helicopter land on the rooftop helipad to see how trauma cases sometimes arrive at the hospital.

“This is about teaching them consequences,” says John Armand, Injury Prevention Coordinator for Lafayette General. “We have to show them these real dangers, rather than just talk at them, for them to really get it,” he says.

Sudden Impact illustrates the ramifications of impaired driving from a medical, law enforcement and victim perspective. The full program involves three phases of education. The program starts with teaching 10th-grade students about driver safety, which is what LGMC’s program was about on Tuesday. The second phase follows these students to 11th-grade, where they participate in a mock crash. The third and final phase lets these students, as high school seniors, conduct a mock trial based on a fatal car crash case.

“We take them through every phase of what happens when unsafe driving occurs,” says Armand.

Although the teaching phase occurs at LGMC, Armand says he will be approaching area schools to participate in the second and third phases of the program as well. For more information on Sudden Impact with Lafayette General, call (337) 289-7482.

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