The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) launched a “Teens and Trucks” campaign in an effort to decrease teen fatalities resulting from summer Missouri truck accidents. Data from the United States Department of Transportation showed that more teens ages 15-19 die in Missouri truck accidents in the summer than other times of year. May, June, July, and August are deadly months for teens. An average of 15.9 teens die per day in big rig accidents during the summer, compared to 8.8 per day during the year as a whole.
The FMCSA advises teens to follow a few simple rules to avoid truck accident fatalities:
•Don’t drink and drive
•Don’t text or use the phone
•Steer clear of truck blind spots
Steering clear of truck blind spots is vital to avoiding Missouri tractor trailer accidents. Nicknamed “No Zones” by the FMCSA, trucking blind spots are sizeable. Teen motorists should avoid being in a blind spot while driving near a big rig, tractor trailer, or other commercial vehicle. Truck drivers cannot see motorists in a blind spot, so they are less likely to accommodate them.
The FMCSA used a 53-foot tractor trailer during a “Teens and Trucks” event designed to illustrate safe driving techniques for driving near commercial trucks. FMCSA officials spoke to Maryland and District of Columbia teens in front of Bethesda’s Walt Whitman High School. The National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) were also present. Sandy Spavone, the President of NOYS, stressed the importance of safely celebrating teen milestones like prom and graduation. Steve Keppler, Executive Director of CVSA, encouraged teens to create a “culture of safety” and to remain accountable for their actions.
Accident victims and their families spoke at the FMCSA demonstration about how accidents have directly impacted their lives. Jacy Good, a woman from the state of New York, told the students that she lost her parents in an accident caused by a texting teenager. Laurie Kelly of Maryland told the students that her young adult son was killed in an accident while he was texting. The organizations presented a “No Texting Promise” to attendees during the “Teens and Trucks” event.