Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Unsafe Teen Drivers
After driving across the U.S. for over 20 years, truck driver Bryan Miller, of Fremont, Nebraska, has seen it all; beautiful scenery, picture-perfect sunsets, and unfortunately, lots of unsafe driving.
Miller has driven for Fremont Contract Carriers Inc. for two decades, and noticed that one group of drivers was often guiltyof unsafe driving practices — teenagers.
Miller and FCC’s safety training coordinator, Amber Wesely, set out to change that and organized a driver training course at Fremont High School in order to educate soon-to-be drivers on how to safely drive among big rigs.
A local newspaper, the Fremont Tribune, recently attended one of their courses and reported on what they saw.
Cheetahs versus elephants
In order to exemplify the massive size difference between cars and trucks, Wesely used an analogy comparing big trucks to elephants.
“Semis are like the big, lumbering elephant, and cars are like cheetahs. Cheetahs are certainly faster, but if a cheetah ever collided with an elephant, it wouldn’t end well.” she told the class.
Miller and Wesely gave students a first hand view of what it’s like from a truck driver’s perspective.
They parked a van 30 feet behind a semi and asked students to step into the truck’s cab and see if they could see the van. They couldn’t.
“If you are driving too close and you can’t see the truck’s side mirrors, than the driver of the truck cannot see you. If the semi puts his brakes on and you hit him, it’s your fault, period,” Wesely told the class.
Improper (or lack of) signal usage
The two also touched on the fact that 2 million crashes occur each year due to improper signal usage, twice as many than the number caused by distracted driving. A crash due to improper signal usage around a semi truck has a high chance of leading to serious injury or death.
Driving’s a privilege, not a right.
“Nowhere in the United States Constitution does it say you have the right to drive on the road.” Wesely also told the class.
Over 500 students have taken the course so far and their efforts are starting to pay off. The Fremont Police Department have noted a significant drop in crashes between new drivers and semi trucks in the area.
Several students also reached out the two, stating the the course has made a significant difference in their driving habits.