Distracted driving is a serious problem and has resulted in the loss of many lives. However, Cumberland’s law enforcement and fire department is trying to change that.

The Fort Hill High School Drama Club and Cumberland police and fire departments wanted to raise awareness to their community about the dangers of distracted driving– with a mock crash scene.

Students performed their play called “Regrets” about a high schooler trying to get to a party using his phone for directions, and ultimately getting into an accident that results in the death of his brother.

“In 2017, there were a total of 56,322 motor vehicle crashes due to distracted driving,” said Lieutenant Andrew Tichnell. “Our goal is to have zero deaths throughout the state of Maryland with texting and driving. We encourage our young people to put our phones down, to park their phones before they drive.”

According to the Motor Vehicle Administration, distracted driving includes any use of a cell phone, eating or drinking, grooming yourself, adjusting radio or using a GPS while operating your vehicle. Many Fort Hill drama students said they hope their play opens the eyes of their fellow classmates to take the dangers seriously.

“A lot of kids like to film themselves driving on the road, and I know a lot of my friends have been in car accidents,” said Fort Hill Drama Club Student Jeremiah Mudge. “Within one second, everything can go wrong so even being on your phone and looking down at a notification or recording yourself driving can cause a major catastrophe. Especially with prom coming up a lot of people are going to be driving.

“It’s important for students to keep their phones down or stay away from their phones cause a lot of crashes have happened due to distracted driving with even just changing your music,” said Fort Hill Drama Club Student Trenton Tichnell. “You can get hurt, I’ve been in an accident before with a guy that was texting and driving, hit me in the rear.”

According to Lt. Tichnell, there were 208 deaths in 2017 due to distracted driving.