Teens Learn How To Share Road With 18-Wheelers

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O'FALLON, MO (KTVI)--  On Thursday, Fort Zumwalt West High School brought in a group from the Atlanta-based company, ProDrivers, to educate their teenage drivers of the dangers of driving carelessly around 18-wheel trucks. The program was as hands on as it gets. One by one, students took turns sitting in the drivers seat of an actual 18-wheel big rig.

ProDrivers Director Jim Smith described the objective, "We strategically place vehicles all around that truck in the blind spots. It shows these students where not to drive when passing a big truck."

Students were amazed as cars behind and along side the truck became invisible to any driver behind the wheel of the big truck.

"It's one thing to be told about tractor trailers," said Fort Zumwalt West Senior Katey O'Brien, "but it's another thing to get to see it for yourself and actually experience what the truck drivers see."

Senior Anna Lang added, "It was really cool to kind of see the perspective of a truck driver because you don't really get to see that every day, and it's a lot different from a normal car."

The demonstration covered the specific dangers of driving in those blind spots, following too closely behind a tractor trailer, and paying attention to 18-wheelers taking wide turns. All lessons the Fort Zumwalt West students heard loud and clear.

"I'll definitely be more cautious when I drive around tractor trailers because I know it's harder for them to see smaller car," said Lang.

"I'm definitely going to be more careful about where I position my car and how far behind and make sure I pass them right away," O'Brien agreed.

"They're learning something," Smith said, "and we've gotten great feedback from these students and the administrators, and we know we're making a difference."

In addition to that first-hand experience lesson about what an 18-wheel truck driver can and more importantly cannot see, the students also received important statistical information about wearing your seat-belt and distracted driving, but more specifically, texting while driving.

For more information about the ProDrivers Company site and various educational programs visit this link:

www.prodrivers.com