Truckers teach students about commercial vehicles

GCT Distracted Driver
(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - A group of Region 8 students got a first-hand look from a couple of experts at how difficult driving a truck can be.

Representatives from the Arkansas Trucking Association spent the day at Greene County Tech High school in Paragould on Friday.

The Arkansas Trucking Association recently started the "Share the Road" program.

Arkansas Road Team Captain Robert Kelley said the program's purpose is to educate drivers about commercial vehicles.

"We teach young and old drivers about the blind spots around commercial vehicles," Kelley said. "There are limitations in the truck's braking. We also teach them how to merge safely on and off the freeway around commercial vehicles and how to operate their vehicles safely around commercial vehicles."

Kelley said blind spots on the front of the truck could go anywhere from 15 to 20 feet out.

"The right side of the truck is the side that has the biggest blind spots," Kelley said. "They can range from the front of the truck to the rear of the trailer and three lanes out."

Sophomore Jase Riales is part of the East Lab Program at Greene County Tech.

Riales played a part in getting the Arkansas Trucking Association to send them representatives.

Riales said he felt it was an important issue that needed to be addressed.

"Kids don't pay attention to the roads," Riales said. "They're distracted or they get intoxicated,or they don't wear their seatbelt. And it leads to them dying or being injured very badly. And I just want to lower that rate and the amount of students it happens to every year."

Kelley said they started the program to try and keep people safe on the road.

"If we can teach and educate people how to operate their vehicle safely around commercial vehicles," Kelley said. "That might save a life. Three out of four times when a tractor trailer and an automobile is involved in a crash it's the automobiles fault. And it's not because they're careless or reckless. It's simply because they don't understand the limitations of a commercial vehicle."

The Share the Road program was created this year.

Kelley said they've had a positive response from it and plan to continue it next year.

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