Sudden Impact is managed at the Interim LSU Public Hospital in New Orleans. Two years ago the program expanded to Our Lady of the Lake Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Touro Infirmary in New Orleans, Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center in Houma, St. Tammany Parish Hospital and Lakeview Regional Medical Center in Covington. Louisiana State Police participates in the educational program and the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission is a partner.
"Trauma is the leading cause of death for people up to age 44, and motor vehicle crashes are the leading type of trauma in this age group," said Bridget Gardner, injury prevention program coordinator for the Interim LSU Public Hospital. "It's important to make a strong impression regarding highway safety, especially around the time that teens reach driving age. Sudden Impact is an experience that stays with students and results in safer driver habits."
Thousands of students from a variety of high schools have completed the seven-hour program, which includes sessions led by police officials, medical professionals, crash victims, mock trials and simulated crash demonstrations. In the 14 years of the program's existence, no student who took the course died in a motor vehicle crash while in high school.
Lt. Col. John LeBlanc, executive director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, said the Commission is pleased with its support of the Sudden Impact program.
"Programs like Sudden Impact are helping improve the behavior and attitude of motorists regarding safety procedures, such as wearing seat belts, not driving while intoxicated, and avoiding distractions while behind the wheel," LeBlanc said. "It's particularly important to work with young people because they are still in the process of acquiring driving habits that will likely stick with them as they grow older."
Recognition awards were presented to the following participants in Sudden Impact.
2012 Sudden Impact Traffic Safety Award Recipients
Ms. Ashley Stokes and the Stokes Family
St. Tammany Parish Hospital
Lakeview Regional Medical Center
Our Lady of the Lake Medical Center
Louisiana State Troopers Association
Ms. Ashley Merritt and the Makeup Lab
East Jefferson General Hospital EMS
Jefferson Parish Fire Department
Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office
Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office
Jesuit High School
Rapides Level 2 Trauma Center
Mr. Ed Reeder
Trooper John Dauzat
D N D Towing
Mrs. Pepper Caruso
Ms. Cindy Savoie
Hon. Rebecca Olivier Christian Harris
Mr. Dewayne Curney
Ms. Kathy Redmond
New Orleans EMS
Mr. Christophe Hanemann
Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency
Louisiana Emergency Response Network
Paolo Zambito, Ochsner Medical Center – Kenner Campus
Interim LSU Public Hospital – Emergency Department
Interim LSU Public Hospital – Trauma Intensive Care Unit
John Gagliano, Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office