A SADD but Important Day
By Janice Llanes Fabry
During each period of the school day April 7, the Rye Neck High School student body was exposed to the perils of driving while distracted through activities organized by the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) Club.
“Awareness is the key,” said Rye Neck counselor and SADD advisor Susan Hannon. “Recognizing how dangerous certain situations can be helps students make better decisions.”
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teenagers. Six teens between the ages of 16 and 19 die every day from motor vehicle injuries, as a result of distracted driving and impaired driving. Texting while driving is particularly dangerous because it involves all three types of distraction: visual, manual, and cognitive.
Fortunately, teen motor crashes are preventable and proven strategies can improve the safety of young drivers. First, teens have to acknowledge the role they play and accept responsibility. SADD Day focuses specifically on the dangers of driving while texting or drinking.
High-risk situations are brought to light in a particularly graphic way on SADD Day. The 60 members of the club, freshmen to seniors, worked tirelessly on various presentations. They painted tombstones with students’ names and installed them outside on the campus. Students dressed as a grim reaper who visited classrooms and tapped students on the shoulder, representing victims killed by drunk drivers. A table was set up with candles, lit for the number of drunk driving deaths that occur during the school day.
Throughout the year, SADD presents programs such as Red Ribbon Week for drug awareness, Mental Health Awareness Week to help students alleviate high levels of anxiety, and, coming up, Stress Less Week during finals.
RNHS SADD Officers, from left: Justin Sturgis, Aliya Glattstein, Philip Beebe, and Kevin Reimers