The Brownwood High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) hosted the Grim Reaper Project on Thursday to raise awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving as well as texting and driving.
Seven members of SADD dressed in grim reaper or “death” attire and began visually illustrating to BHS students the consequences of poor decisions while driving.
“Every year we do grim reaper which is a project for anti-texting and driving and drinking and driving. Because when you get to high school it seems to be a pretty big problem. With juniors and seniors the problem is drinking and driving because there are parties every weekend, but with the kids that are just now getting their license it is texting and driving,” said Cheyanne Dodd, president of SADD and resident grim reaper for the day.
“We are trying to show where you could end up if you drink and drive or text and drive,” said Tiffani Sikes, webmaster for SADD.
The group wandered the halls with signs that stated several facts and statistics about driving while under the influence or texting while driving.
Their signs read, “teens who text while driving, spend about 10 percent of their driving time outside of their own lane,” “almost half of all driver who were killed in crashes tested positive for blood alcohol content in their system”, “in 2011, at least 23 percent of auto collisions involved cellphones, that is 1.3 million crashes!” and “It takes approximately six hours after drinking for the body to completely eliminate alcohol from its system with a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 g/dl, the legal limit in the state of Texas!”
“Death” visited classroom after classroom and pulled several students out of their classes in increments to show the number of teenagers killed in car accidents as a result of drunk driving or texting while driving. The students were then taken to a holding classroom where they would spend the remainder of the day in their own school version of purgatory.
At the conclusion of the day, the group stood outside of the school with their signs to raise awareness not only among students but their parents as well.
In 2010, statistics showed that seven teens aged 16-19 died everyday from injuries sustained during a car crash and 282,000 teens were treated for crash related injuries. Car crashes are the leading cause of teen fatalities and about a third of those involved alcohol. Teen alcohol use kills about 6,000 people every year.
Recent statistics show that texting while driving takes a minimum of five-seconds . If a driver is traveling at 55 mph, this equals driving the length of a football field without looking at the road. Texting while driving raises the likelihood of a crash to 23 times more likely.