Newsome High School is hosting a distracted driving event, which is open to the public, on Tuesday, February 26 at 6:30 p.m.

Newsome High School students will get a dose of reality this month. The school is hosting a distracted driving event on Tuesday, February 26, titled ‘Trauma is No Accident,’ to teach students and parents the dangers of distracted driving that can lead to accidents and physical trauma to others.

According to Peggy Clarkson with John Clarkson Allstate, whose office is sponsoring the event, the program is presented by More Health and the Newsome PTA and is open to the public. Families with children of all ages are invited to attend.

“It is all about focusing on the road,” said Clarkson. “Cell phones, music, food and friends are distractions that can lead to trauma.”

During the event, an interactive game will show students how simple tasks, coupled with driving, become complex and dangerous.

“Factual stories and simulations emphasize the importance of wearing a seatbelt and not texting or drinking and driving,” said Clarkson, who started sponsoring the event in the fall of 2017. “Students and parents gain an understand of brain and spinal cord injuries and the process of rehabilitation.”

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office will also be on site offering information and will display a vehicle at the school that was wrecked due to distracted driving.

“The vehicle is an impactful statement reminding teens visually of the results of distracted driving,” said Clarkson.

Attendees will be able to pick up literature, including student and teen driving contracts, and during the event, residents will be asked to take a pledge not to text and drive. There will also be a raffle from Clarkson Allstate and giveaways.

“As a local insurance agency, we want to provide awareness and help everyone stay safe on our roads,” said Clarkson. “Every day we talk to teens and parents on safe driving and want everyone in our community to understand that what you do behind the wheel of a car can change your life and someone else’s forever. We all have seen the increase of accidents daily and we can do our own part in driving safely with no distractions.”

The event will take place February 26 at 6:30 p.m. in the Newsome auditorium, located at 16550 FishHawk Blvd. in Lithia. For information, call Clarkson at 263-2994 or the school at 740-4600.

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Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.