Mock Disaster Event to Raise Awareness of Distracted Driving
Bronson Hospital and Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety are hosting a mock trauma event designed to bring awareness to the consequences of distracted driving. Several other community organizations including Varnum’s personal injury attorneys are helping to support the event, set for Saturday, April 29 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Mayor’s Riverfront Park, 251 Mills Street in Kalamazoo.
Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers, and fatalities involving young drivers between the ages of 15-20 increased 10 percent in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Increased use of cell phones and other distractions are major contributors to a rise in car accidents.
“As lawyers who represent injured people, we see firsthand the tragedy that often results in distracted driving accidents,” said Varnum attorney Steve Weston. “Texting and driving is the most common distraction but not the only one. Looking at cell phones to stream music, use a maps function, and other phone usage is also a cause of needless injury and death.”
Saturday’s mock trauma event will feature a simulator to demonstrate how distractions affect driving. In addition, West Michigan Air Care will land their air ambulance and Life EMS will provide rescue simulations. There will be two actual crashed vehicles with actors inside portraying crash victims. Emergency responders will extricate the victims from the vehicles. This event will feel and look very real and allow everyone in attendance to feel the reality of the results of distracted driving.
KDPS will also host a fire prevention event alongside the mock trauma simulation. Several displays and simulations will be held for education about fire prevention and safety, including an interactive smoke house, fire sprinkler demonstrations, bomb squad truck, and more. The event is for all ages and especially geared to high school age students and young drivers. Free t-shirts are available to the first 75 attendees.
“We applaud Bronson Hospital and our other community organizations for working together to draw awareness to the dangers of distracted driving, and we are gratified to do our part to make this program possible,” said Weston. “Our community is working together to save lives and futures.”