Students were given an insight into the perils of driving dangerously and how it affects the lives of others.
The presentation from the road safety team at Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service was aimed at Rutland County College’s new young drivers.
Called Fatal 4, it covered the main causes of driving deaths among 17-25 year old – being under the influence of drugs, not wearing a seat belt, using a mobile phone and speeding,
A state-of-the art crash car simulator provided a hard-hitting backdrop to the message from fire fighters who told of their real life rescue experiences and showed videos from car crashes they had attended.
A spokesman for the college said many of the students found the presentation “difficult to watch”.
The young people were also given the opportunity to have the ‘VF4 in-car experience’, which enables the occupants to experience the impact of a road traffic collision, hear the sounds of the crash, the deathly silence and screams for help.
Students admitted that experiencing first hand what can happen had been an eye-opener.
Kelly Davies, 19, said: “I found the experience powerful and informative.
“The videos used were very realistic and at times quite horrific. I felt it established the truth about many of the urban myths of driving including the truth about drugs and driving.”
Abbie Waites said: “The simulated car crash was very scary. The car jolts and then fills with smoke and blue flashing lights, like those on police cars. You can’t see anything but hear breaking glass and screaming”.
Bethan Whitaker said: “I thought the talk was really good and very hard hitting.
“It really made me consider how I might drive or when I’m in a car with a young driver, how their driving may influence me.
“Although I haven’t started driving yet, I am 17 and will be taking lessons soon so although the presentation shocked me, I now feel that when it comes to driving I am more prepared and know what to avoid.
“Hopefully this will stay with me throughout my driving life.”
Bethan added that even though the topic was a serious one, it was peppered with humour which made students take on board what was being said but also to realise that while it was a serious matter “if you drive correctly, you will be safe”.
The presentation was part of the fire service’s campaign aimed at cutting the number of road deaths among young people.
According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, more than 400 people are killed in crashes involving car drivers aged 17 to 24 years, every year, including some 150 young drivers, 90 passengers and about 170 other road users.