Turkey Valley students get lesson in texting while driving - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Turkey Valley students get lesson in texting while driving

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WINNESHIEK COUNTY (KWWL) -

It happens everyday, drivers sending and receiving text messages without a second thought of what lies ahead. It may only take a few seconds, but studies show those who text behind the wheel are 23 times more likely to get into an accident.

Now one eastern Iowa school district is bringing statistics like that to life.

"It hurts we were never able to say goodbye. We were never able to tell her how we really felt," said Turkey Valley senior, Julia Cuvelier.

A staged accident scene became all too real for Cuvelier. A couple of years ago her aunt was killed in a car accident. To this day she doesn't know what happened, but when she saw her friends hurt those memories came rushing back.

"I realize Missy and Dave would never able to tell their daughter how they really felt and it hurts. It really hurts," said Cuvelier.

The Turkey Valley School District with the help of the Waucoma and Fort Atkinson Fire Departments, Winneshiek EMS and Sheriff's Office and air care out of La Crosse put on a simulated accident where students were texting while driving.

"We realize that texting is important to them, but we really want them to get the idea and understanding that they are.  All it takes is them looking down for a couple of seconds and it can cause an accident that changes everybody's lives in a split second," said Turkey Valley Success Coordinator, Rhonda Drilling.

Students looked on as their friends were removed from the wreck. Some only had minor injuries while others didn't make it out alive.

"I got out here and I saw the cars and I was kind of shocked seeing my friends in the state that they were in," said senior, Ben Schmitt.

While it might have just been a simulation it definitely left a big impact on the students at Turkey Valley. A valuable lesson in texting while driving.

"It's not even worth it. Just seeing this alone made me realize that whatever someone has to say it isn't as important as me and as important as the people that are riding with me," said Cuvelier.

"I'm never going to text in my car again. I usually try not to make a habit of it but definitely not anymore," said Schmitt.

A report by the National Safety Council found cell phone use leads to about 1.6 million crashes a year. About 200,000 of those accidents are caused by texting while driving.

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