During a class for parents and teens on avoiding risky behaviors Thursday night at CoxHealth's north side medical center, KOLR 10 asked trauma nurse Jason Martin about "hilltopping" as a man was found guilty in a fatal case of it.
"It's a deadly combination of speed versus limited control of a vehicle," Martin said. "Simply because of the rural nature that we have here, this is something that's always happened. It happened when I was in school here, but over the last five to seven years we've seen a trend go up again. We've seen a lot of deaths caused by this just in our area alone."
Martin also spoke to parents and teens about distraction-based crashes, like texting while driving, which are of course a prevalent problem.
"It is now the number one cause of accidents in our area. It has now surpassed alcohol related crashes so it's definitely something we need to get a hold of," Martin said.
"Instead of just telling us that it's bad, they show us like pictures of accidents..."
Hunter Bartelt, 14, attended the class last year and was back Thursday to volunteer and said photos of the results of drug use and crashes hit home.
"People should not be in that many pieces ever," Bartelt said.
Whether it's alcohol, drugs, driving or even social media interactions, Martin said staying informed is the best way to stay out of the emergency room.
"It's all about teachable moments," Martin said. "It all just comes down to making good choices."
Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.