Students witness dangers of distracted driving

With just a few days until Myrtle Beach High School's prom night, the school teamed up with Grand Strand Regional Medical Center on Monday afternoon to teach students about the dangers of distracted driving through a mock accident.

The program, called "Prom Promise," took place on the school's practice field and involved a crowd of students, staff and faculty. It covered the topics of drinking and driving and texting and driving.

"It actually gives them the knowledge and background, and actually shows what the consequences are of this distractive behavior and being involved in a motor vehicle accident," said Alison Burns, director of trauma services at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center.

Burns said she tried to make the mock accident look as real as possible.

"In one car, there are four students that hit another car that has a mother and a child. And one of the teenage students is actually going to die as a result of this accident. And we have the simulation of a hearse picking them up and our EMS partners coming in response to treat medical conditions," Burns said.

Senior Alexis Bellamy played the only sober person in the car during the wreck. Her character ended up dying after flying through the car's windshield. She said she hopes the mock accident helped her fellow classmates realize how serious distracted driving is.

"None of us want to be in a position where we see one of our friends die from this. I think it would be good if we did see a little bit and help us realize what reality can do. It's not good," Bellamy said.

And Burns agreed, saying she hopes the simulation gave students the right message.

"I hope they bring the message home with them about the dangers of distracted driving and that they make wise decisions not only on prom night, but for the rest of their lives as well," Burns said.

Burns also said distracted driving crashes are among one of the most common sources of trauma she sees in people from 17 to 22 years old at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center.