Anti-drunken driving simulations such as “Forever Changed” in Milwaukee and the national “Every 15 Minutes” program are going to much greater lengths to make the message hard hitting, even sending some kids away from their families for a day and asking parents to write obituaries for their children. Discussion about the crash simulations, individualized for each school with the help of local volunteers, police, fire and emergency personnel, follows at a later assembly, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Some parents have been furthering the discussion at home by making the connection to real-life events, such as a recent fatal car crash caused by an impaired driver. Froedtert Hospital, which created and sponsors Forever Changed, begins each simulation with a narrative of what the students were doing before they crashed. The tarps come off the cars and police cars wail onto the scene. “This is a radically different program,” said Lisa Hass-Peters, a registered nurse and the emergency injury prevention educator at Froedtert. “The hospital has been doing programs against drunk driving for at least 10 years, but we wanted to make it more real for the kids rather than just using a PowerPoint.”