It didn't take Mary Sweeney long to realize the topic for her senior project, but she might have wished it happened under different circumstances.
Sweeney, a senior at Portsmouth High School, says she was driving one day on her street when another vehicle started driving toward her head-on, on the wrong side of the road.
Sweeney hit her vehicle's horn. The operator, a woman, did not hear it.
Sweeney needed to swerve out of the way onto the grass as the other vehicle passed, she said.
"She wasn't looking at the road. She wasn't looking in front of her," Sweeney said. "My car was completely on the grass in someone's yard. She didn't realize she was in oncoming traffic."
That's when Sweeney, the daughter of Middletown police Sgt. Patrick Sweeney, decided to focus her senior project on the dangers of texting while driving.
She organized a mock demonstration of a vehicle crash, as a result of texting, on Tuesday morning at Portsmouth High School.
Students assembled outside to watch the presentation, entitled, “Is that text really worth what comes next?”
Rhode Island Department Of Transportation representative Despina Metakos spoke about the statistics and dangers of texting while driving.
The Portsmouth Fire and Police Departments assisted with a mock crash outside the school. Photos from the demonstration can be seen above.