By Kaitlin Keane
Register Chief Photographer
Madison Central students laughed and joked around Tuesday as a classmates wore drunk goggles and tried to steer a remote control car though orange cones during the Re-Think Your Ride program. Students learned that people not wearing a seat belt are 30 times more likely to be ejected from a vehicle during a crash, and 77% of people who are totally ejected from the vehicle are killed.
Senior level Eastern Kentucky University baccalaureate public health nursing students put together the Re-Think Your Ride program to ensure students wear seat belts all the time and to prevent distracted driving by using the phone and texting.
“We want them to consider their personal safety and the safety of others by not driving distracted and always wearing a seat belt,” said Elaine Waters, a registered nurse and EKU professor.
Re-Think Your Ride is a collaborative program with different partners including EKU, the Kentucky State Police, Office of Highway Safety and the Madison County Safety Correlation.
Hannah Gore, EKU baccalaureate public health nursing student, said the program previously focused only on the importance of seat belt safety, but now with the new problems of distracted driving, they have added more.
“We wanted education to be interactive,” said Lloyd Jordison, a Madison County Health Department nurse and member of the Madison County Safety Coalition.
Four different stations were set up for students to participate in. The D2 Simulator put students in real-life driving situations and added distractions including texting and drunk goggles. The “Wheel of Chance” visually showed students that without wearing a seatbelt they are two-thirds more likely to die in an accident. Students were timed going though an obstacle course under normal conditions, then were timed again while texting to show the difference in time and accuracy.
“I thought it was really interesting and fun, but scary to think you can die not wearing your seatbelt,” said Kaitlyn Carroll, a 17-year-old senior.
“Even if just one kid gets it, its all worth it,” said Casi Brooks.
The Re-Think Your Ride program will be at Madison Southern and Berea Community Tuesday, Oct. 23.