Should a school use graphic violence to teach driving safty?

Jennifer - posted on 04/28/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )

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Am I alone in my frustration and disgust that my daughters school used a graphic PSA about texting and driving without giving me the option to keep her from having to witness it? The PSA showed inside the car in slow motion as the accident happened, teen heads hitting windshields, blood, a dead baby with eyes fixed, dead parents with a toddler asking "mommy, daddy, why aren't you answering me?"

My daughter spent two days after this film with headaches and nausea (because of the anxiety caused by the video) and everyone seems to think that its a good thing that they showed this video at the High School! She had already seen non graphic films in Drivers ed and now since the video, she is afraid to drive. Seriously, am I alone in thinking this is just wrong??

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Rebeca - posted on 05/02/2010

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Jennifer, I watched the video, and I then showed it to my 12 year old daughter and we had a really good discussion about the consequences of not paying attention to the road (whether texting, eating, changing radio station etc).

She was not negatively affected by the video at all, in fact she was shocked that all that destruction can happen so easily, and I believe knowing this will make her a much safer driver when her time comes. (I may have to show her the video again at that point).

I also agree with Sarah and Tracy, I seem to remember watching a video of a bad crash in high school although back then we did not have mobile phones so it wasn't about texting, but the point is that I also got over the trauma of the video and went on to become a very safe and careful driver.

I understand that it is upsetting for you to see your daughter upset but life can be cruel and unfair and its true that we can't protect our children from all the evils of the world forever.

My best friend died at the age of 27 when his car was hit by a driver on a mobile phone, and a local boy from my kids school was 16 and riding a bike when somebody driving and texting swerved and killed him so I do feel strongly that we need to implement anything possible to stop these uneccessary tragedies from occurring.

As for the government implementing laws for cars to not work while phones are on, we cannot expect the government to protect us from everything, we need to stand up and take responsibility for our own actions.

Also, a lady I know was recently driving and suffered a diabetic attack while on the road and her 7 year old son had to phone the police and ambulance to come and get her off the road as she was in a kind of trance and could not comprehend him so if the phone was blocked, he would not have been able to phone for help and they may have been hurt or killed, or even hurt or killed others if there had been a collision.

it is entirely our responsibility to do the right thing and teach our children to do the right thing also.

I do hope your daughter gets over the trauma and fear soon though, it sounds as if she is a very sensitive child. All the best.

Tracy - posted on 04/30/2010

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When I was in high school and took a driver's safety course (1979), we saw a film where kids were talking to each other in the car, and they didn't see that they were about to collide with a train. The film showed the accident and the mangled car and the teenager sitting (presumably) dead in driver's seat with his entire bottom of his face missing and dripping blood. So, this is nothing new. I survived the shock of the film, and I have always been extremely cautious around railroad tracks whether driving or as a pedestrian. Your daughter will get over the shock of her film, and she will probably never text and drive. Let's hope everyone can be scared enough not to text and drive!

Sarah - posted on 04/30/2010

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I would have to agree with Rebeca on this one...and we can't sugar coat reality or hide the true facts from our babies for ever...cause the fact is our babies won't stay babies for ever and I think sometimes it's best that they see things like this because sometimes you have to SHOCK them with a little dose of reality for it to sink in because there are a lot of teenagers and adults with that "i'm invincible" or " it will never happen to me" mentality.
So I agree with them showing things like this to high school students.

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Laura - posted on 05/05/2010

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This is a great video and should be mandatory viewing for all kids, especially those taking driver's ed classes. My 12 year has viewed it and though she was grossed out it lead to conversation with her that, hopefully, has had a positive impact.



It seems that you are alone on this one. Stop over-protecting your teenage daughter or she will end up just like those girls in the video...

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IMO, your daughter needs that lesson in reality rather badly. The video you posted isn't anymore graphic than your average childbirth video and it's no worse than the crash videos I watched in 1990 when I graduated high school. Kids need the reality of the damage a vehicle crashing at high speed causes My best friend came this close to losing her 9 year old last summer because a teenager thought the speeding laws and stop signs didn't apply to him. He stuck her as she was crossing the street (in front of her father's house) going 45 miles an hour, dragging her under the wheel of his F150 (brand new as it was his 18th birthday present). She is lucky to be alive but her right leg will never be normal again. Her thigh was broken in 4 places and her shin was shattered. She lost most of the muscles and nerves in her lower leg. After 22 surgeries, she is now able to walk but not run.

The young man who hit her saw her motionless body and passed out. Perhaps had he seen this video, this child (whom I love as much as my own) would be able to run and play like other girls instead of hobbling around on a mangled leg with hypertrophic scarring covering her from hip to ankle.

Amy - posted on 05/05/2010

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Do I believe that the school should have sent notes home asking permission- Yes. They should have been able to let the parents see it first and if you didn't want your child to see it then that should have been your right. She could have gone to the library or outside the room so she didn't have to watch that part.
Did the school have the right to show it? thats a yes too. Almost 6000 people lost their lives last year from texting and driving. Sometimes a shock factor is the only way to get through young kids heads.
I would take this to your local school board. I know in my town before any video is shown the parents are informed, are allowed to watch the video first or come watch with their child. It's also the same way with anyone coming in to talk to our kids about anything they deem controversial.

Sherri - posted on 05/04/2010

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Sorry I have to agree that it is an amazing video that shows the true consequences of being a distracted driver. I think it truly gets the point across when at this age not to much does. I was also shown a very graphic movie in drivers ed and have never forgotten it. I also wasn't scarred from it either. It did teach me to be a better driver.

Valerie - posted on 05/03/2010

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I am with you that I think you should have been asked and your child should also have been given the option...clearly it has traumatized her...I would call the principal and let him/her know...

Jennifer - posted on 04/29/2010

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This is what I feared. I AM alone in this. If the government would like to see a reduction in the number of crashes due to texting and driving, why don't they implement a law that all cars made have a "phone kill" switch installed into the steering column so when the ignition is on, the phone won't even work? (The PARENTS are often just as guilty as the children if not more) Implement strong laws and IF someone is caught texting and driving THEN show them the video. Why is it that we as a country automatically go to Terrorizing our kids first instead of thinking of a less damaging solution? A fearful driver is apt to make more stupid mistakes than a confident one. Also, the one's that you would like to make an impact on... the cocky ones... this won't even phase them because they have seen all the gory movies and just view this as another one and they always think it will never happen to them. Placing my child in the car of a slow motion accident made her a fearful victim when she has done nothing wrong.

If you want your child to see it, feel free to share it with her tonight. Here is a link to the youtube version of it...

Rebeca - posted on 04/29/2010

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Hi Jennifer

I know it is hard to watch these graphic images but I have a 12 year old daughter and I wouldn't have a problem with her watching them because I have known too many young people who have died in car accidents.

Teenagers think they are invincible and as they are also inexperienced drivers, when you throw drinking, speeding, friends being noisy and distracting etc into the mix, not to mention using phones to talk or text whilst driving, it is not surprising that young people are involved in so many accidents.

The fact that it has upset and affected your daughter means the message got through and hopefully she will be wary about getting into the car with friends who text and drive, just like she would never get into a car with a drunk driver, and become a responsible, attentive driver as she now knows the consequences of texting when driving.

If it saves your daughters life, isn't it worth a bit of discomfort for a few days? Having said that, I can see your point about asking parental permission but what if it was your daughter who was killed because some other parent refused permission for their child to watch and thus be affected by video. Or your daughter ended up killing somebody else's child (and having to live with that forever if she is 'lucky' enough to survive).

So I guess that is why they don't ask permission, as this is an issue that can affect other people, not like a personal choice like smoking where your child is mainly harming themselves.

Well that is just another point of view for you to think about. Hope it helps a little.

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