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Geisinger Lewistown Hospital trauma team brings distracted driving program to Mifflin County HS

LEWISTOWN, Pa. – Students at Mifflin County High School recently had a unique opportunity to learn the dangers of distracted and impaired driving through use of special simulator equipment brought to the school by the Geisinger Lewistown trauma program.

“This is a great collaborative effort between the school district, Pennsylvania

Timothy Nebgen, safety press officer with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, instructs Tai Ematat, Mifflin County High School sophomore, on using Geisinger’s distracted and impaired driving simulator. Tai’s mother, Vicki, and Garret Horning, Mifflin County Regional Police, look on.

State Police, Mifflin County Regional Police, PennDOT and Highway Safety,” said Alex Haines, Geisinger Lewistown Hospital Trauma program manager. “We are here to show how dangerous distracted and impaired driving is. The high school administration and teachers care about students by hosting and participating in this event today.”

The simulator consists of a table-mounted steering wheel, pedals and a large monitor. A typical session takes about 10 to 15 minutes, consisting of a practice drive, an impaired drive and a distracted drive. At the end of each drive videos with scenarios play showing a medical team working on the driver after a crash or the driver going through sentencing and incarceration.

“This is definitely something I’ve never gone through before. But I learned a lot and had fun,” said Mifflin County sophomore Tai Ematat. Her mother Vicki, a register nurse at Geisinger Lewistown’s emergency department was very grateful to be able to help with the program for her daughter and her classmates.

“It’s good to be here today to educate the students on safety,” Vicki Ematat said. “My daughter will be driving soon so this is timely. I want her to see what it’s like to be impaired.”

The simulator provided by donations to Children’s Miracle Network at Geisinger, allows the driver to feel the effects of impairment by delaying reaction times and blurring vision. It also creates distractions in the car that cause the driver to take their eyes of the road and potentially make errors.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness month. To learn how you can get the distracted driving simulator at your school or group event, contact Alex Haines at

About Geisinger

Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than a half million members, a Research Institute and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. With nearly 24,000 employees and 1,600 employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania and New Jersey by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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