Teen Drivers Learn to Share the Road with Trucks

Like most students, Lanikqua Anderson knows where she wants to spend her summer vacation.

"Richmond. There is so much to do there like shopping, and malls,” said 18-year-old Anderson.

But before she, or her classmates can go anywhere, they need to learn how to share the road with big trucks.

"Tractor-trailers, they are a lot to fear sometimes,” Anderson said. “Because they can swerve."

Anderson’s classmates in her Driver’s Ed course share her nerves.

"It comes up next to you making this huge noise,” said Elise Sweigart, 16. “It's so tall. I was terrified."

According to the American Trucking Association one-third of fatal crashes involving a car and a large truck occurred in one of the blind spots where truck drivers cannot see other vehicles. That is why Driver's Ed instructor Richard Warham teaches his students about the "no zones."

There are four “no zones” or blind spots. In the front, back, and either side of the truck, with the right side being the largest blind spot.

According to Warhman driving alongside a big truck can be very dangerous.

"Either drop back, or pass them, but don't run beside them," said Warham.

Warham also says teens need to remember drive at a safe distance from trucks, no less than four seconds behind.

"We want to keep a safe distance behind them,” Warham said. “It takes a car four seconds to stop going 60 miles per hour. It takes a truck 8 seconds to stop."

Warham’s students say they'll remember his tips when they hit the road this summer.

"I'll know where their blind spots are, and how much space I need to give them,” sais 16-year-old Kristen Menoi. “I'll be a safer driver on the road."

"Just stay alert, and be focused," said Anderson.

As for her big plans once she has her license in hand. "A lot of road trips."

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