Tennessee Highway Patrol brings Teens and Trucks Share the Road Program to Rhea County High School
September 26, 2017
Evensville, TN — The Teens and Trucks Share the Road Program came to Rhea County High School on Tuesday, September 26th, as the Simulators mounted on the bed of an 18 wheeler gave an opportunity for around 100 students to come and utilize the driving simulator to critique their driving and help point out some of the dangers out there on the road. Great of the Rhea County Sheriff Department and State Troopers to work together to make this happen for Rhea County High School. This was the first time the simulators have been to Rhea County High School.
The Program is focused on Teens and Trucks because of the number of traffic accidents that involve teens and large trucks. The program also shows the perils of not focusing on driving, which could be cell phone use and other distractions that cause traffic accidents. Since large trucks are so much larger they represent an even greater danger than cars on the road. Is is also important to remember many deaths can be cause by being hit by large trucks after the initial accident.
During the simulator use, the students could see how quickly accidents could happen if they were not totally focused on driving.
Tennessee State Trooper Alan Bailey and John Harmon were on hand to help the students with simulator and explain some of the dangers the youth will face on the road.
Trooper Alan Bailey said, “This is the first time we have brought the simulator to Rhea County. We did anywhere from 150 to 200 at the McMinn Central vs Meigs County football game. Tomorrow we are taking it to I-75 Welcome center and then over to McKee foods.”
“Everything has to fall right for us to get the simulator on site. We normally have to schedule this about six months in advance.”
“What we try to do is hit on the areas of distracted driving and cutting trucks off. We have several scenarios that we can run through the simulator.”
Troopers also clarified some of the safety rules for drivers. One important one is for drivers to move to the left when there is anyone pulled over to side of the road, not just emergency vehicles. But if unable to safely pull over, they should slow down to make the situation safer.
From the Teens and Truck Share the Road website:
Large trucks and commercial motor vehicles are a vital and important part of our nation’s economy. These vehicles are the “wheels of commerce” for our nation. Over 91 percent of Tennessee communities depend exclusively on trucks to move their goods. While truck drivers do contribute to some traffic crashes, research shows that too many drivers of passenger cars, especially young people ages 16 to 24, unnecessarily endanger themselves by failing to recognize that large trucks and passenger cars differ in their handling characteristics. As a result, nearly 70 percent of traffic crashes involving large trucks and passenger cars are the fault of the car driver.
Research indicates that teen drivers are over 50 percent more likely to crash in the first month of driving. Every day, motor vehicle crashes end more teen lives than cancer, homicide, and suicide combined (source: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety). Tennessee ranks sixth in the nation for the number of fatal car crashes involving teens, according to an Allstate Insurance study. Over the past five years (January 1, 2009 – November 13, 2013), there have been 393 teen traffic fatalities in the state of Tennessee and 33 of these involved a large truck (source: Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security).
The “Teens & Trucks” program was created in collaboration with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the Ariizona Trucking Association, and the Arizona Department of Public Saftey and American Trucking Associations.
Tennessee also has another great program called reduce tn crashes and website is reducetncrashes.com. This website has over 59 different activities that are focused on helping students and schools educate and motivate to reduce teen crashes.