Just drive.

Over 50% of teens surveyed at Midland High School and Herbert. H. Dow High School reported that they text and drive; 45% of these students know someone who has been in an accident as a result of distracted driving. Cited as the number one cause of fatal teen car accidents; distracted driving includes cell phone use, eating, or picking something up from the floor.

Last week, the Midland County Youth Action Council (MCYAC) put their resources and research to work to call attention to the danger of distracted driving and encourage their classmates and school staff to just DRIVE.  The campaign, titled ”just DRIVE.”, stretched over four days and included activities to remind students and staff to pay attention while driving.  On the first day, students were surveyed about their current distracted driving habits.   

On Tuesday, over 150 students took part in a flash freeze with steering wheels and cell phones  or a sign citing a statistic about distracted driving. Each student wore t-shirts that said “distracted?” on the front and “just DRIVE.” on the back.  Later in the day,  students received black thumbands to remind them to stop texting while driving.

Students arrived at school on Wednesday morning to find the same t-shirts and statistics posters draped over smashed cars near the entrances of the high schools.  Vehicles that represented the potential consequence to driving distracted. Survey results were hung from the ceilings in Eyeball Alley at Midland High School and pasted to the floors at Herbert H. Dow High School - intended to attract attention to what their classmates behaviors are -- and the realities that exist with driving distracted.

"The goal was really to bring awareness, we hope that students exposure to both the broader national statistics and the reality that their peers are driving distracted will encourage them to think twice before driving distracted themselves" said MCYAC Advisor Nicole Wilson.

Program sponsors included The Dow Chemical Company Foundation, Garber Automotive Group, Mid-State Towing, Oil City Salvage and Cole's Garage.