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Darien Safety Fair Shows Dangers of Bad Driving

Darien ninth-grader Jack Fitzsimmons was smiling as he was strapped into a crash simulator at the SADD Safety Fair on Tuesday. But he wasn't smiling after he experienced what it's like to be in a crash at 5 mph.

"That hurt my chest," he said, rubbing the area where the safety belt pressed into him upon impact, which also knocked his hat clean off his head. "That was not fun. It definitely teaches me not to drink and drive. It was pretty painful."

The simulator, dubbed "The Convincer," was just one of the presentations at the Students Against Drunk Driving Safety Fair held at Darien High School . There was also a simulator that used dummies to show what can happen to a body when a car flips over, and state and local police were on hand to give information about how to practice safe driving habits.

Sophie Watters and Parker Schram, both members of SADD, ran a table where kids pressed their thumbs in ink and left a print on a pledge not to text and drive. "It's not worth answering a text if you get in a car accident and die," Watters said. "We need to break kids of that bad habit."

"Kids don't understand the severity of what can happen," Schramm added. The two also handed out thumb rings to kids who made the pledge. "The rings are a reminder to make kids aware of the dangers of texting and driving."

Their fellow SADD member Lexi Ashborne was sitting at a table where she handed out Silly Bandz and bumper stickers. "I think the kids get all the free stuff and really read it and look at the websites and hopefully take away some information from it."

The SADD students are entering their Safety Fair in the Act Out Loud contest, which offers a $10,000 prize. They’re asking members of the community to go online to vote for their project.

What did your teen take away from the Safety Fair on Tuesday? Let us know in the comments below, on Facebook and on Twitter .

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