Photo by Lauren Hawkins/The Candidate
Freshman Cody Dean tries to walk a straight line while wearing impairment goggles during a distracted driving presentation fifth hour last week.
Outreach Coordinator for (Wichita) Via Christi Hospitals Ronda Lusk and Kansas State Trooper Chad Crittenden visited the law classes Oct. 25 about the dangers of distracted driving.
“We teach kids how to be safe behind the wheel and show them how much impaired or distracted driving can affect them,” Lusk said.
Kansas Highway Patrol partners up with Via Christi to get in schools to educate students on how to be safe.
“We go to schools throughout the state educating them on the dangers of unsafe driving,” Crittenden said. “We educate kids now so we don’t end up with them later either in trouble or injured.”
Crittenden and Lusk informed the classes on how to know when unsafe driving is taking place.
“If someone you know is being unsafe behind the wheel, educate them on what they should be doing,” Lusk said.
To show the classes how much impaired driving can affect them, they had everyone try on impairment goggles that simulate the visual effects of alcohol impairment.
“We’re training students to teach other students about driving safety,” Lusk said. “Kids learn from their peers.”
Another simulation the class participated in showed how easy it is for a driver to become distracted behind the wheel.
Crystal Simmons, law teacher, oversaw the class during the activities.
“Our goal is to show students how easy it is for accidents to happen,” Simmons said. “The class participated in a computer driving simulation to show them distractions, like texting, can end in disaster while they’re behind the wheel.”
Freshman Cody Dean was one of the students who participated in the simulation.
“I didn’t realize how easy it was to crash while trying to text and drive,” he said.
Simmons said she believes the message they are sending to students now can help them in the future.
“For every student we educate we can stop another accident from happening,” Simmons said.