WBHS Students Learn About The Hazards of Driving

Retired Trooper Jim Greg presents on teen driving risks to West Branch students.


Image/Graphics by Braden Brown

Trooper Greg presents the risks and consequences of unsafe driving practices.

On Monday, May 8th, West Branch students attended an assembly covering the dangers and consequences of unsafe driving. Retired Trooper Jim Greg gave a presentation based on his experience with teen drivers.

Many West Branch students have their driver’s licenses or regularly ride with other student drivers. With the high population of student drivers and the upcoming prom, high school students went to the auditorium for a presentation brought by Trooper Jim Greg. In the lecture, Trooper Greg brought up some of the most prevalent causes of car crashes among high schoolers and young adults and some real driving experiences he has had to teach about the importance of safe driving practices. 

Trooper Greg first highlighted the importance of restricted driver’s licenses and permits and why they are in place. States implement driving restrictions to ensure young drivers get adequate experience behind the wheel to learn essential driving skills before flying solo. Practice allows new drivers to learn how to handle potentially risky situations like late-night driving and large groups of passengers creating distractions. Trooper Greg also shared how he crashed his first car three days after getting his license due to a lack of driving experience. His example helps young drivers understand the reality and potential of ending up in a preventable crash. Junior Braeden Salter said, “he did a great job of demonstrating the dangers of unsafe driving.” 

Next, Trooper Greg covered the importance of wearing your seatbelt, stating that: nearly half of all fatal accident deaths could have been avoided if the vehicle occupants wore their seatbelts. He drives this point further by sharing a severe crash he was involved in while on duty that could have easily paralyzed or killed him if he did not buckle up. Thankfully, Trooper Greg has since fully recovered from the collision.

Finally, Trooper Greg discussed the distractions in a vehicle that have led to crashes. For example, loud passengers, texting or calling loud music, and doing makeup, serve as driving interruptions. Although many teens may not think they will be involved in a crash due to something seemingly minor, anyone could be in a wreck. To bring light to the truth of collision probability, Trooper Greg told students about a crash in which some teens entangled around a pole, which led to the death of one of their dear friends and the hospitalization of all passengers. Fatal crashes are preventable, and goofing around while driving is not worth the life of a loved one.