What is lethal may not seem so

Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 17, 2018

Friday morning students old enough to consider going to prom this year attended a presentation geared toward ensuring they drive safely.

Major Chad Dorn, a Picayune Police officer who leads the Picayune School District’s School Resource officers, said the presentation aimed to make students think twice about distracted driving through critical thinking.

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First, students were shown a series of items, most of which would initially be seen as causing harm to others. The lists included things like a sword, cancer and grizzly bear, all of which could cause death. At the end of those lists were things like lip gloss or texting. Dorn said that during his presentation he explained how lip gloss and texting could be just as deadly as cancer or a sword, especially when those things are used or done while driving.

The presentation included testimony from families in other areas of the country dealing with the recent loss of a loved one due to distracted driving.

Dorn said that distracted driving is the leading cause of death amongst teens. Nationwide about 4,000 teens die annually in the United States.

He also emphasized the importance of seatbelt use, since most of those fatal accidents involved teens who did not buckle up and as a result were ejected from the vehicle during the crash.

While Friday’s presentation was attended by high school seniors and juniors in anticipation of the upcoming prom, Dorn said he gives the same presentation to other students at the school each nine weeks through the school’s health class.