Students learn to 'share the road'
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS Gene Bartlett, Walmart driver, offers tips to Northern Lehigh High School ninth-graders as part of its "Committed to Safety" Program.
Share the road.
That was but only one of several important lessons Northern Lehigh High School students recently learned courtesy of Walmart.
Walmart's "Share the Road" program brought a tractor trailer to the school to demonstrate the blind spots around the vehicle, and to give students a chance to view - from the driver's seat - the truck's blind spots to gain a full understanding of the "no zones."
The program was part of Walmart's "Committed to Safety" Program that's offered free to public schools. Their goal is to educate young drivers on how to share the road safely with big trucks, according to driver Gene Bartlett.
"The whole idea is we set up demonstrations to have them look in the mirrors to identify blind spots," Bartlett said. "The students are usually of driving age, so this is the perfect time."
According to a AAA Foundation study on fatal crashes involving cars and trucks, the investigating officer assigned one or more violations to the car driver, and none to the truck driver in 75 percent of the crashes, and 35 percent of these crashes occurred in the truck's blind spot.
What are blind spots?
These are areas around the tractor or trailer where collisions are more likely to occur.
These blind spots are locations where your vehicle may "disappear" from the drivers view inside the tractor.
Where are theblind spots?
Look for the driver's face in the side-view mirror of the tractor. If you can't see the driver, he can't see you. If that driver were to make a lane change, a collision could occur.
Rear blind spots
Don't tailgate. Driving too closely to the rear of a truck limits your visibility to the road ahead. Also, if the truck has to brake suddenly, you may not have enough time to react to avoid a rear-end collision.
Front blind spots
When passing a truck, before changing back into the lane, look in your rearview mirror. If you can see the front of the truck in your rearview mirror, it should be safe to move over.
Backing blind spots
Be on the lookout for trucks backing up. It's hard to see the rear of a tractor trailer with the two side mirrors. Use extreme caution around trucks when they are trying to back up.
Wide right turns
Watch for turn signals on the truck. Sometimes a drive may swing a trailer to the left before making a right turn. Don't pull up beside the trailer; it may swing back and hit your vehicle.