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Hope for fewer 18-wheeler crashes -- teens receive training

In an attempt to make roads safer and increase the awareness of teenaged drivers, a high school in Tennessee has forged a partnership with a group of professional truck drivers to assist in training the young drivers. Semi-trucks are a reality that has to be accepted on U.S. roads, but sharing a road with these big vehicles poses certain risks. The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security reported 119 fatalities linked to 18-wheeler crashes in 2015 alone.

At the same time, there is a general awareness of the risks involved for teenage drivers on the road. It was reported that in 2014 over 2000 young people were killed on U.S. roads. These numbers led to an initiative to obtain the help of a group of professional truck drivers to show high school students what it is like to drive a semi-truck.

By allowing the students to experience what a truck driver experiences, they could become aware of many aspects that make truck driving very difficult. Teenage drivers were made aware of several important factors when sharing the road with semi-trucks. These included the importance of maintaining a proper following distance to stay visible to the truck driver, the dangers of cutting in front of big trucks as they do not stop easily, and how to pass a truck safely while taking blind spots into consideration. The aim of the project is to encourage the development of good habits, which can be retained to maturity.

The awareness created among the young drivers may assist in a decrease in fatal 18-wheeler crashes, but unfortunately, accidents will still happen. Victims seriously or fatally injured in a truck accident may choose to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim against an alleged negligent or reckless driver. Should the evidence indicate that negligence is the root cause of an accident, a Tennessee civil court may award financial damages to the aggrieved party.        

Source: wcyb.com, "Professional truck drivers teach teens safe driving", Brianna Ek, March 14, 2016

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